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- McKenzie, R. Tait (Robert Tait), 1867-1938
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Dr. Robert Tait McKenzie or MacKenzie was born on May 26, 1867, in Ramsay, Ontario.
He was a physician, sculptor, educator, athlete, soldier, and Scouter. He attended McGill University in Montreal as an undergraduate and medical student. He won the All-round Gymnastic Championship, was the Canadian Intercollegiate Champion in the high jump, a good hurdler, a first-rate boxer, and a member of the varsity football team. In 1892, he graduated from McGill and got an internship at Montreal General Hospital. A year later he became an instructor in anatomy and specialist in orthopedic surgery at McGill and also developed an active medical practice in Montreal where he was appointed house physician to the Governor-General of Canada, the Marquis of Aberdeen. During the 1890s, McKenzie asked McGill to develop a department and school of physical education, but the university declined, citing lack of money. In 1904, he moved to the United States to teach at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. He also became its director of physical education.
He pioneered physical fitness programs in Canada. During World War I, his methods and inventions for restoring and rehabilitating wounded soldiers laid a foundation for modern physiotherapy practices. He attained fame in the medical world by his original ideas on the treatment of scoliosis and by his conviction of the need for preventive medicine.
His interest in sculpting was a result of his extensive knowledge of human anatomy. He sculptured memorials and statues of athletes.
He died on April 28, 1938, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.