Founding of the AOA 

The first Annual Meeting of the AOA was held on June 15, 1887 at the Academy of Medicine in New York. Thirty-six charter members were present. A constitution and bylaws were adopted. 

In the beginning, there was a struggle between two important concepts:
  1. braces and mechanical phases of surgery
  2. surgery and the necessity of more accurate knowledge, etiology, and pathology of disease

The success of orthopaedic care in the US is closely tied to the treatment of wounded soldiers in WWI (1914-1918).   ​

AOA Established

The AOA is the oldest and most distinguished orthopaedic association in the world. Founded in 1887, it has had significant involvement in the founding of several major orthopaedic organizations, including:

  • Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery (1889) 
  • American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (1933)
  • American Board of Orthopaedic Surgeons (1934)
  • Orthopaedic Research & Education Foundation (1953)
  • OMeGA Medical Grants Association (2008)

In 2003, the Academic Orthopaedic Society (AOS) was incorporated into the AOA. This positioned the AOA as the formal home and supporter of Department Chairs, Program Directors, Fellowship Directors and academic faculty, furthering the AOA's commitment to academics.

Past Presidents

View a list of the AOA's Past Presidents who provided a guiding vision and exemplary service for the organization. 

Charter Members of the AOA

H. W. Berg, New York
E. H. Bradford, Boston
Buckminster Brown, Boston
Dillon Brown, New York
Joseph Bryant, New York
W. B. De Garmo, New York
Edward Develin, New York
Charles C. Foster, Cambridge
Virgil P. Gibney, New York
Arthur J. Gillette, St. Paul
E. H. Goodman, Philadelphia
H. Hodgen, St. Louis
A. B. Judson, New York
Samuel Ketch, New York
George S. Knickerbocker, New York
Benjamin Lee, Philadelphia
R. W. Lovett, Boston
James E. Moore, Minneapolis
Thomas G. Morton, Philadelphia
George B. Packard, Hartford
Roswell Park, Buffalo
John Ridlon, Philadelphia
Sydney Roberts, Philadelphia
George W. Ryan, Cincinnati
Lewis W. Sayre, New York
Reginald H. Sayre, New York
J. C. Schapps, Boston
Newton M. Shaffer, New York
J. J. Steele, St. Louis 
Charles F. Stillman, New York
C. W. Stimson, New York
C. Fayette Taylor, New York
Henry L. Taylor, New York
A. P. Morgan Vance, Louisville
W. R. Whitehead, Denver
DeForest Willard, Philadelphia