Tribute to John Feagin

John Feagin was an inspirational co-founder of the ACL Study Group. He passed away on September 1st, 2019.

Message from Christian A. Guier, MD

As a tribute we show 3 links from the ACL Study Group meeting in Thailand in 2010 where he spontaneously presented his ‘exam of the knee’. His presence will be missed.

John Feagin MD Knee Examination Lecture Part 1

John Feagin MD Knee Examination Lecture Part 2

John Feagin MD Knee Examination Lecture Part 3

In memory of John A. Feagin, Jr., MD

If there was a man whose destiny one might predict, John was that man. He practiced kindness and benevolence on all those he came across. He took the higher road towards unity and camaraderie. Throughout his life, he exercised his mind and effectuated actual mental and physical connections between his family, friends and colleagues.

From his early days where he joined the Army as a fledgling, he rose to each occasion. John M. Tokish, MD, who interviewed JAF for a July 2014 article in Orthopaedics Today, quoted him as saying about his mentors that “They all “ruled” with ethics and integrity.” Regarding his introduction into the Sports Medicine world, John asked himself: “Is it serendipity or faith-based? I always believed the latter.” Regarding advice for future students he said: “My advice to young graduates who follow is to seek the “high road” every day in every way, contribute to your team each day; when you become a team leader, be a good shepherd; the Golden Rule will always win out and as Coach K would say before a big game, “Live in the moment.”1 In the face of competitive and interpersonal challenges, to quote Fritz Hefti, “he was a ‘we-type’ not ‘me-type’, one of those humans who had the ability to bring together people with big egos and to create something in common.”2 

In that vein, John also had a keen eye and ability to recognize potential in so many young men and women, and tactfully inspire and guide them to become the visionary leaders and huge assets in their respective fields that they have become. He set new standards by pushing himself to the farthest reaches of his universe, which, in retrospect, was so far further than we might have imagined.

We can all learn so much from JAF’s legacy. His ability to speak to people in the language of their trade or culture, his respect for other’s heritage and views, his solid command of scientific principles and methods coupled with his gentle ability to capture an audience, left people full of thoughts and ideas of how to be better doers and achievers. He was a true visionary who availed himself to every resource, with an unprecedented personal commitment that true leadership embodies. I would like to quote Werner Mueller, in his reflection of his relationship with John, “He was a pioneering man to me in many ways; personality, “mensch”/ human and role model. He is my most important and best friend as human and scientific partner.

As we take this moment to reflect on JAF, may we find solace in the hope that one man’s character has and will continue to instill the love we all have for humankind and the grace in which we can exhibit it to others.

That was the character of this great and noble man and personality.

We will miss you John.

We express our deep sorrow to his family and loved ones.

Christian A. Guier, MD September 2, 2019

  1. Tokish, JM. Pioneer: John A. Feagin, Jr. MD Orthopedics Today, July 2014
  2. Hefti, F. Personal communication 3 Mueller, W. Personal communication