Clair W. O'Dell,
D. C., Ph.C., D.C.H.
Legendary doctor of chiropractic and Sherman College supporter, Clair W. O’Dell,
D.C., Ph.C., died on October 7. A 1936 graduate of Palmer College of Chiropractic,
O’Dell practiced in Southgate, MI, for more than 70 years. According to his son
Roger, O'Dell influenced more than 200 people to become doctors of chiropractic,
including 39 members of his own family.
He is quoted on one of the walls at Palmer College: “The ingredients for success
are ever present, and are of the spirit. The formula includes loyalty to cause,
dedication to principle, and unselfish service beyond the call of duty.” His life
reflects his words.
Dr. O’Dell was a charter member of the International Chiropractors Association.
He was instrumental in the formation of the American Chiropractic Association and
served as first president of the Straight Chiropractic Academic Standards Association.
He was chairman of the committee that brought about the antitrust lawsuit against
the American Medical Association in the 1970s and ’80s. He also assisted in getting
chiropractic licensing laws passed in Massachusetts, New York and Oklahoma. He was
the chairperson of the National Chiropractic Antitrust Committee (NCAC) and the
fund raiser for the Wilk lawsuit, which he considered one of the greatest events
In 2002 Sherman College presented O’Dell the honorary Doctor of Chiropractic Humanities
(D.C.H.) degree in honor of his commitment to the chiropractic profession and to
Sherman College. He has received numerous recognitions for his service to chiropractic,
including being named a Fellow of the Palmer Academy of Chiropractic in 1967, Doctor
of Humanities by Logan College of Chiropractic in 1972, Humanitarian of the Year
by the World Chiropractic Alliance in 2000, and a lifetime service award from Parker
Seminars in 2002. He has been named Chiropractor of the Year and Career Advisor
of the Year by Sherman College. In addition, he was a member of the International
Board of Governors of the World Chiropractic Alliance and the Sherman College Board
“Dr. Clair has been such a big supporter of me, Sherman College and chiropractic,”
said Sherman President Dr. Jon Schwartzbauer. “We should all attempt to take a little
part of him with us in our life’s journey.”