Dr. Julian Stein passed away on Sunday, September 22, 2019. He was ISHOF’s 1999 John K. Williams Jr. Adaptive Aquatic Award Winner.

Stein became known internationally for his contributions in the area of physical fitness for individuals with mental and physical disabilities. Devoted to his work for many years, the demand for his services took him around the world, speaking, writing, consulting and conducting workshops for professionals in the field.


Photo Courtesy: ISHOF

In April 1965, the Kennedy Foundation-AAHPER committees began work on organizing year-round national fitness programs for people with intellectual disabilities. Dr. Stein was appointed chairman of the task force on these programs and was the author of the ground-breaking work on “Adapted Physical Education for the Educable Mentally Handicapped,” Journal of Health, Physical Education and Recreations, December 1962. Dr. Stein had been working with students with disabilities in Arlington, Virginia, in the 1950s.

The following year, (1966-1968) the Kennedy Foundation appointed him full-time director of the AAHPER program under direction of the JPK Jr. Foundation.

Dr. Stein was one of several national leaders who helped to insure the inclusion of physical education and recreation in what was called the Mental Retardation Facilities and Construction Act of 1969. In addition, the U.S. Department of Education regularly sought his counsel in developing rules and regulations for the Education of all Handicapped Children Act (PL 94-142).

Following his work as Director of the AAHPER program, he became Executive Director of the Unit on Programs for the Handicapped (1968-81).

Through the years, Stein has helped hundreds of young professionals in initiating programs of physical education, recreation, and athletics for the disabled.

Susan Grosse of the Milwaukee Public Schools, who has known Dr. Stein for more than 20 years said about Stein: “There is no one in adapted physical education today who does not owe a portion of his/her success to Dr. Stein. He always took time to exchange ideas, talk, encourage, demonstrate, and console.”

Dr. Julian Stein’s achievements were formally recognized in 1989, when he was awarded the R. Tait McKenzie Award by AAHPERD and was named one of the 10 recipients of the U.S. Jaycees’ Healthy American Fitness Leaders Award before receiving the John K. Williams, Jr. Adapted Aquatic Award from the International Swimming Hall of Fame in 1999.

After 10 years of teaching in the Department of Health, Sport, and Leisure Studies at George Mason University, and 16 years of service to AAHPERD, Dr. Stein retired at the end of 1990. He and his wife, Carolyn, spent the final years of his retirement in Oliver Springs, Tennessee.

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