Founding of the AOA

As described in A History of the American Orthopaedic Association, written by James R. Urbaniak, MD, FAOA, a meeting was held at the home of Dr. Newton Shaffer (New York City) on January 28, 1887. Dr. Shaffer spoke of the need for an association to bring together American orthopaedic surgeons and to secure better recognition in Europe for American orthopaedic surgery. Fourteen gentlemen were present and voted to establish such an organization.

AOA Takes a Leadership Role Throughout History

As the oldest orthopaedic association, AOA 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.

Founding Members

The first Annual Meeting took place on June 15, 1887 at the Academy of Medicine in New York. Thirty-six charter members were present and the Constitution and Bylaws were adopted.  The AOA was established and is known to be the first orthopaedic association.

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

Past Presidents

The AOA’s Past Presidents provided exemplary service and were instrumental in guiding the organization’s vision. View them here.