Issue: October 2019
September 11, 2019
2 min read

John A. Feagin Jr., MD, founder and past president of AOSSM, dies

Issue: October 2019
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Colonel John A. Feagin Jr.

Colonel John A. Feagin Jr., MD, one of the founding members and past president of the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine, died on Sept. 1, 2019.

“Colonel John Feagin was one of the founders of sports medicine. He taught us all what it meant to help take care of athletes of all ages and all levels, and, more importantly, how to do it with excellence, grace and compassion,” Matthew T. Provencher, MD, CAPT MC USNR, told “Personally, Colonel Feagin was one of the most valued mentors—his leadership presence in the field of sports medicine was transformative for our specialty. He is an American hero and will be truly missed by all.”

A graduate from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and from Duke University, Feagin was an international collaborator and world-renowned authority on knee surgery, according to the Feagin Leadership Program Website. Feagin held many appointments, serving as the chief of orthopedic services at the 85th Evacuation Hospital in Qui Nhon, Vietnam, Commander of the Keller Army Hospital at West Point and Team Physician for the U.S. Olympic Ski Team. He also was an International Medical Mission work leader, surgeon and advocate, as well as a professor and orthopedic surgeon for several universities and institutions, including the Uniformed University of Health Services, Duke University and Durham VA Medical Center.

Along with Werner Müller, MD, Feagin helped conceive the ESSKA-AOSSM Sports Medicine Traveling Fellowship program in 1984.

“The European Society of Sport traumatology, Knee surgery and Arthroscopy was so sad to learn about John Autrey Feagin passing away,” David Dejour, MD, president of ESSKA, told “He was a visionary in creating with Werner Müller links between the United States and Europe with the ESSKA-AOSSM Traveling Fellowship and linking the senior surgeons with the youngest surgeons. He has a special place in our hearts.”

Müller said Feagin’s knowledge and warm personality made him an outstanding leader and he was a unique friend to many people.

“As a leader, [Feagin] searched for competition in scientific excellence, but in a competition for cooperation to find better solutions and principles together, not in a competition for being the winner,” Müller said. “That was his way to bring people together for common improvements as an example for the young followers in orthopedic sports medicine.” – by Casey Tingle