This day is a difficult one for us all, not just at the Foundation, but for the Physical Therapy profession in general, for today we have lost a true visionary as we grieve the death of our longtime colleague, mentor, and friend.

It is with great sadness and heavy hearts that we announce the passing of emeritus member of our Board of Trustees and former American Physical Therapy Association President, Charles M. Magistro, PT, DrSci (Hon), DPT (Hon), FAPTA.

An inspiration to all, today we have not only lost a family member and loved one, but an important and influential figure in the physical therapist profession.

However, let us not mourn the loss of a beloved friend and esteemed mentor, but take this time to look back and celebrate Charles’ life and remember his accomplishments.

As the founder and first chairman of the Foundation, Charles spent a great deal of his life championing the advancement of the practice of physical therapy and promoting innovative research and the values of the Foundation, stating on numerous occasions how “the work of the Foundation for Physical Therapy is central to the future of the profession.”

Since its inception in 1979, the Foundation set out to fund and publicize physical therapist research. Charles had been proud that what started as a fledgling organization with seed money in the amount of $350,000, has grown into a distinguished and well-renowned institution that has contributed over $17 million in grants and scholarships and helped to jump-start the careers of more than 575 emerging scientists who have gone on to receive an estimated $753 million in external funding.

Due to his ongoing guidance and longtime financial contributions, both personally and through the Magistro Family Foundation, in honor of Charles, the Foundation established the Charles M. Magistro Distinguished Service Award in 1991 to recognize individuals for their commitment and outstanding service in promoting the goals of the Foundation.

Through his contributions from the Magistro Family Foundation, Charles, along with his wife Noel and family, established the Magistro Family Endowment Fund in 2005 to support the investigation of innovative therapeutic interventions within the practice of rehabilitation, earning them the 2014 Spirit of Philanthropy Award.

Since its establishment the Endowment Fund has provided 10 physical therapist researchers each with $40,000 – $80,000 research grants. The Fund currently exceeds $2 million and will continue to provide vital grant funding well into the future. In 2013, the Magistro Family directed $100,000 from the endowment to support the Foundation’s Center of Excellence campaign for health services/health policy research training.

It has been a distinct privilege to all at the Foundation to have had the opportunity to have met and worked with Charles. “Charles was intimately involved with the Foundation since its inception and his guiding hand and sound perspective have left an impact that will forever remain. As we march toward a future with promise, we know in our hearts that it is largely because of Charles,” said Foundation Board of Trustees President Barbara Connolly, PT, DPT, EdD, FAPTA.  “He continued to show strength and a burning commitment to the Foundation until the very end. Charles may no longer be with us, but his spirit and legacy will remain as we continue to move forward and carry on his dream of helping to create and elevate the next generation of physical therapist researchers.”

*Please click here if you would like to make a contribution in memory of Charles.

The Foundation for Physical Therapy was established in 1979 as a national, independent nonprofit organization to fund physical therapy research to optimize health and movement. Since its inception, the Foundation has awarded more than $17 million in research grants, fellowships and scholarships. Many of today’s leading physical therapy researchers, clinicians, and academicians began their careers with this support. Foundation-funded researchers have gone on to secure more than $824 million in follow-on funding.

To donate or learn more, visit or call 800/875-13678.




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