William Scholl

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William M. Scholl
Born William Mathias Scholl
(1882-06-22)June 22, 1882
La Porte, Indiana
Died March 29, 1968(1968-03-29) (aged 85)
Chicago, Illinois
Resting place Pine Lake Cemetery, La Porte
Alma mater Chicago Medical School (M.D., 1922)[1]
Occupation Medical Doctor
Known for founding Dr. Scholl's footwear

William M. Scholl (June 22, 1882 – March 30, 1968) was a pioneer of foot care and the founder of Dr. Scholl's, a brand of foot care products.

Early life and career[edit]

William Mathias Scholl was born in La Porte, Indiana as one of 13 children. He studied medicine at Loyola University Chicago. During his studies, while working in a shoe store in the evenings, he became interested in podiatry.[2] In 1904[3] he invented and patented an arch support and founded the company Dr. Scholl's to sell it.[2] He was joined by his brother Frank who directed the company's overseas business, establishing Scholl Manufacturing Company, Ltd. in London in 1910.[3]

He graduated from the Chicago Medical School in 1922. He went on to develop more than 1,000 foot aids.[2] These included a silver clip designed in 1946 to treat ingrown toenails. While too soft to have much of a corrective effect and difficult to apply, it inspired later steel clip designs.[4]

Scholl practiced medicine in Chicago from 1905 until 1946 while also directing his company. He continued to serve as the company's President and chief executive officer until March 1968, when he was elected Chairman of the Board. He worked in that capacity until his death.[2]


He left the bulk of his estate to the Dr. Scholl Foundation which he had established in 1947.[5]

Personal life[edit]

Scholl never married. His brother Frank, who had helped set up the original company, had sons who were doctors and were involved in the company and foot care.

Selected publications[edit]

  • The Human Foot: Anatomy, Physiology, Mechanics, Deformities and Treatment (1915)
  • Practipedics: The Science of Giving Foot Comfort and Correcting the Cause of Foot and Shoe Troubles (1917)
  • Treatment and Care of the Feet (1930)
  • Podology: Based on the Experience, Inventions, Foot Comfort System and Methods of Dr. William M. Scholl (1932)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ McClory, Robert, "Best Foot Forward: An Account of the Amazing Life, Fertile Imagination, and Remarkable Industry of William Scholl, Foot Doctor to the World, Including a Small Controversy Concerning the Authenticity of His Credentials", Chicago Reader, Sun-Times Media Group, January 13, 1994</
  2. ^ a b c d "Dr. Scholl dead; Foot Care Expert". The New York Times. March 30, 1968. p. 33. 
  3. ^ a b "Frank Scholl, Built Foot-Care Company". The New York Times. February 16, 1967. p. 39. 
  4. ^ Grünewald, Klaus (2007). Theorie der medizinischen Fußbehandlung (in German). 2. Verlag Neuer Merkur. p. 48. ISBN 9783937346342. 
  5. ^ "History of the Dr. Scholl Foundation", drschollfoundation.org

Further reading[edit]

  • Scholl, William H., Foot Doctor to the World, Lutterworth Press, 2006. ISBN 9780718891794
  • Scholl, John D., III, M.D., A Biography of William M. Scholl: Foot Doctor to the World, 2007

External links[edit]