RIC History - Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago

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RIC's Logo Until 1971

The History of RIC

In 1954 the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago (RIC) was founded by Dr. Paul B. Magnuson in a renovated warehouse on Ohio Street. Dr. Magnuson was a renowned orthopedic surgeon who became a devoted and passionate advocate for people with disabilities as the result of witnessing the personal tragedies of World War II while serving as the medical director for the Veterans Administration.

Carrying on Magnuson's legacy, Dr. Henry B. Betts came to RIC in 1963 and was directly responsible for advancing the medical mission of the Institute, construction of RIC's Flagship Hospital, direction of Institute research along with training education and advocacy for those with disabilities.

Since RIC's humble beginning it has grown to become the recognized leading provider of physical medicine and rehabilitation services. In fact, every year since 1991, U.S.News & World Report has ranked RIC as the "#1 Rehabilitation Hospital in America."

RIC's success is the direct result of the generosity and passionate work of many exceptional people. Below is a historical overview of the leaders who played an instrumental role in helping RIC become recognized as the best in transforming medicine, transforming lives and Advancing Ability®.

RIC Leadership

Founding Committee

Paul B. Magnuson, MD, Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago
Bertha Evans Brown, Philanthropist
Willis Gale, Commonwealth Edison
Howard K. Hurwith, First Commercial Bank
John L. McCaffrey, International Harvester
Max McGraw, McGraw Electric Company
Albert Peake, Standard Oil of Indiana
John G. Searle, G.D. Searle & Co.
Mrs. Raymond F. Tartiere, Benjamin J. Rosenthal Foundation
Gen. Robert E. Wood, Sears, Roebuck & Co.
Herbert P. Zimmerman, R.R. Donnelley & Sons

Board of Directors – Presidents/ Chairmen

1955-1957: Paul B. Magnuson, MD, President
1957-1959: Kent Chandler, President
1959-1969: John W. Evers, President
1969-1974: Wesley M. Dixon, Jr., Chairman
1974-1978: Gordon H. Smith, Chairman
1978-1982: James F. Bere, Chairman
1982-1983: Charles H. Barrow, Chairman
1983-1986: Gordon H. Smith, Chairman
1986-1991: J. Douglas Gray, Chairman
1991-1998: Stuart L. Scott, Chairman
1998-2001: Ella D. Strubel, Chair
2001-2006: King W. Harris, Chairman
2006-2008: Mike Keiser, Chairman
2008-Present: M. Jude Reyes, Chairman

Read more about the Board of Directors