William Scholl : biography
William Mathias Scholl (1882–1968) was a podiatrist, pioneer of foot care and the founder of Dr. Scholl's, a brand of foot care products. Scholl went on to found the Illinois College of Chiropody and Orthopaedics. William M. Scholl died in 1968 at the age of 85, leaving the company to his nephews.
The son of an immigrant (a German cobbler), Scholl began his career in Chicago, 1901, in a small shoe store specializing in comfort and specialist footwear. His concern for customers with painful foot conditions motivated him to enroll in medical school to study the anatomy and physiology of the foot. By 1904 he had graduated from the Illinois Medical College (now Loyola University) as a doctor of medicine (M.D.) and launched his first foot care product.
In 1907 Scholl created Scholl Manufacturing Co. Inc. to invent and market a number of foot care products. These include the "Foot Eazer", the "Zino Pad", rubberless stockings, "Foot Wings" arch supports, and " Ball-O-Foot Cushions." The company opened its first retail store in 1928.
In 1912 Dr. Scholl founded the Illinois College of Chiropody and Orthopaedics with five other medical doctors, a pharmacist, a chiropodist, a chemist and a shoe fitter. Eventually the Illinois College of Chiropody and Orthpaedics became the Dr. William M. Scholl College of Podiatric Medicine. As with its contemporary Chicago Medical School Scholl's admissions policies were non-discriminatory. The Dr. William M. Scholl College of Podiatric Medicine is located at Rosalind Franklin University in North Chicago, Illinois and was established in 1912 by William Scholl.
By 1913, Dr. Scholl's business was expanding worldwide and Dr. Scholl's first Foot Comfort Service shop opened in London. By the 1930s the company expanded its range for the comfort of the legs and began to make a range of compression hosiery for the relief of swollen ankles and varicose veins. Dr. Scholl was a prolific inventor and went on to create a range of remedy and cushioning devices covering the whole spectrum of common foot conditions.
William M. Scholl died in 1968 at the age of 85 leaving the company to his nephews William H. Scholl (1920–2002) and Jack E. Scholl (1926–2006). Some still question whether or not Dr. Scholl's last name is his original birth name, primarily because the name rhymes with "sole", as in "the sole of a shoe."
Today the "Dr. Scholls" brand, imported from China, covers the North America region while the "Scholl" brand globally is owned by SSL International. The company is still widely recognized as dealing in foot care and has become, in places, a household name.
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