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2008 PCPFS Lifetime Achievement Award Winner

Richard O. Keelor, Ph.D. - One of America's leading health and fitness authorities. Dr. Richard Keelor has served at all levels of the health promotion and physical fitness profession.  In 1972, he was personally selected by Astronaut James Lovell of Apollo 13 fame, to serve as Director of Program Development for the President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports (PCPFS).  He served this presidential agency over a ten‑year period under four administrations.  Prior to that, he had a distinguished ten year career as a public school physical educator, voted High School Football Coach of the Year by the Los Angeles Times, and honored as California Athletic Director of the year, as well as winning the Schering National Leadership Award for H.S. athletics.

Following his government service where he received numerous awards, including a Distinguished Service Award from the U.S. Attorney General, Dr. Keelor joined the Campbell Soup Company as President of their National Institute for Health/Fitness and General Manager of a new Campbell's business unit. As General Manager, he was appointed Chairman of the Board of Triangle Manufacturing Company, a Campbell's acquisition that conducted research and development, as well as manufacturing and international sales of personal fitness and sports medicine products.

Dr. Keelor has conducted more than 200 regional and national fitness clinics and has been a keynote speaker at four White House Sports Medicine Symposiums.  He has also served as consultant to the governments of Japan, Germany, Norway, Portugal and Guatemala, and has lectured at various institutional symposiums and universities throughout Europe and Scandinavia.

Keelor has appeared on numerous network radio and television shows speaking on health and physical activity including the Today Show and Good Morning America. During his tenure as a staff officer for the PCPFS he did public service radio and TV spots and testified at Congressional hearings and before federal agencies on matters related to the role of physical activity in health promotion and disease prevention.

Keelor has received numerous national honors, including the U.S. Jaycee's National Healthy American Leadership Award, the highly coveted Winston Churchill Award of the United Kingdom for exceptional leadership in the health and fitness field, as well as receiving the prestigious Distinguished Service Award from the International Association of Worksite Health Promotion. While with the PCPFS, he served as adjunct professor at George Washington University.  Dr. Keelor is also Past President and Fellow of the Association for Worksite Health Promotion and former member of the Editorial Board of the American College of Sports Medicine's Health and Fitness Journal.

In 2000, The National Association of Governor's Councils on Physical Fitness and Sports honored Dr. Keelor at their Boston annual meeting as first recipient of the Glenn V. Swengros Memorial Award in honor of his ongoing national leadership in promotion of health and physical activity.

Internationally recognized as an authority in physical fitness and health promotion led Dr. Keelor to address the World Health Organization’s Tenth Annual Conference for the Prevention of Chronic Disease. He has a long interest in geriatric physiology and played a lead roll in admendments to the federal Older Americans Act, which provide for increased opportunities for the elderly to attain and maintain appropriate physical activity.

As co-founder and Executive Director of Be Active America!  Keelor serves as one of the lead faculty in advocacy training workshops provided to educators, in recreational settings, and to business, industry, and government officials. These workshops assist professional groups and individuals to better communicate with media, state, local and federal elected officials in order to advance the nation’s Healthy People 2010 Goals. He was also the primary consultant in development of Be Active North Carolina! This is the first statewide campaign to promote grassroots physical activity advocacy through all of  NC’s 90 counties. The program was launched statewide in June of 2000 and now operates througout the state with a full-time staff of twelve and an annual budget of approximately $2.5 million dollars.  The initiative, now in its eighth year of development, has won over 20 national awards.

Dr. Keelor holds both a Bachelor's and Master's degree in Health, Physical Education, and Recreation from California State University at Long Beach, where he was Athlete of the Year in 1959, captain of the intercollegiate football team, and in 1960, won the Pacific Coast Intercollegiate Wrestling Championship.

Keelor was awarded Alumnus of the Year at Long Beach State University in 1974, and was voted to the school's Athletic Hall of Fame in 1987.  He was honored by El Camino College in 1997 as one of fifty Distinguished Alumni during the college’s celebration of its fifty‑year history.  In June or 2005, he was also honored at the 100th anniversary reunion of Redondo Union High School as one of its 100 Distinguished Alumni.

He received his Ph.D. in Physical Education with a minor in Business Administration from the University of Southern California in 1974.

Keelor formerly served for six years as President & CEO of the Sugar Association headquarted in Washington, D.C., and was a Director of the World Sugar Research Organization headquartered in London.


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Last updated on 07/08/2008


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