Dr. Sidney E. Williams B.S., D.C. | 1928-2012
Athlete – Scholar
Doctor of Chiropractic - Educator
The Defender of Chiropractic, Dr. Sid E. Williams, is the founder of Life University and served as its president from 1974 to 2002. Life University became the home of the largest school of chiropractic in the profession’s history. Dr. Williams’ dynamic achievements are based on a lifetime of self-discipline, perseverance and vision from his early successes in academics and athletics to later years as a world leader in chiropractic and education.
Born in Rome, Georgia, Sid Williams was never satisfied to “be like everybody else.” Throughout his formative years, he learned from his parents’ example during the Great Depression and his own internal prompting to ignore temporary defeat and to be persistent in whatever task he tackled. Rising up the Boy Scout ladder, Sid went on to earn the rank of Eagle Scout with bronze and silver palms.
In the summer of 1944, in spite of his light weight, he took up football and quickly became a star. Playing organized football for the first time in his life as a high school sophomore, he was a first string end after only three weeks of fall practice. In the Atlanta Constitution sports section, Charlie Roberts wrote, “There may be better all-around student athletes, but we’ll take Sid Williams of Tech High School until somebody comes along to prove us wrong.”
In 1946, Sid Williams went on to win the Ben Cogburn Award as the team’s best blocker in addition to the All-Star awards. He was also the winner of the annual “Who’s Who at Tech High” Award. His status as an athlete-scholar attracted recruiters from ten colleges and universities. However, as a loyal Georgia Tech fan and admirer of Coach Bobby Dodd, he elected to accept a Georgia Tech football scholarship.
Sid Williams’ persistence on the field eventually was rewarded by a treasured compliment from Football Hall of Fame Coach Dodd, who in the headlines of the sports section of the September 28, 1951 Atlanta Journal proclaimed, “Sid Williams is the best end for his size in America. He is one of those rare boys who improve every year.” He played on the GT B-team in 1948, moving to the varsity squad in 1949, and then as a starting defensive end with the 1950 and 1951 Georgia Tech teams.
By the time he finished his collegiate football career, Sid Williams had sustained a compound fracture of his right wrist and a splintered fracture of his clavicle during the Georgia State All-Star game, followed by fractures of the right hand and fractures of three spinal vertebrae in the Florida-GT game during the 1951 undefeated season.
Continuing in the senior ROTC program at Georgia Tech, he also served as a Lieutenant Colonel and a battalion commander. After completing his ROTC program at Georgia Tech, he began his military career in 1947 as a private, earned his staff sergeant stripes and was then commissioned a second Lieutenant by Governor Herman Talmadge after completing his ROTC program at Georgia Tech. He served honorably and fulfilled his military obligation with the Georgia National Guard in 1954.
Chiropractic: A Momentus Decision
After receiving his Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial Management from Georgia Tech in 1951, Sid Williams began working toward a Master’s Degree in Labor Relations. However, having sustained a serious injury playing in the Georgia Tech vs.Vanderbilt game, Sid lost a great deal of his athletic abilities and was sent by Georgia Tech to medical specialists in several states, to no avail. His father recommended that he see a Chiropractor in Atlanta, which he did. After his first upper cervical adjustment, Sid had such dramatic results that he began to consider Chiropractic as a career. Following this Chiropractic experience, he and his fiancée, Nell Kimbrough, made a momentous decision!
On March 21, 1953, they exchanged wedding vows and moved to Davenport, Iowa, where they both enrolled at Palmer School of chiropractic—both earning Doctor of Chiropractic degrees in 1956. Following graduation, Dr. Sid and Dr. Nell developed eighteen chiropractic clinics in the Southeast. During this period, Dr. Sid also founded Dynamic Essentials (DE) to train and motivate chiropractors, students and lay people in the philosophy, principles and practice of chiropractic. At the same time, Dr. Williams also began his life-long participation in chiropractic association work.
FIRST CHIROPRACTIC WRITING LEADS TO LIFETIME OF PUBLISHING
In 1957, in order to alleviate a shortage of up-to-date and accurate chiropractic educational material, Drs. Sid and Nell created Si-Nel Publishing. Since then, he has written and published hundreds of articles, books and brochures. Dr. Williams also is known worldwide as a speaker and has been featured in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Georgia Trend and The Atlanta Journal Constitution as well as in numerous Associated Press stories and the CBS television show 60 Minutes.
Dr. Williams is the author of Looking Back to See Ahead, editorials on chiropractic science, philosophy and principles, and essays on leadership and motivation, and The Dynamic Essential of Office Procedures and Patient Management, which has become a standard in D. E. Seminars and a textbook for thousands of chiropractors. Lasting Purpose, which is both an autobiography and an explanation of the development of Dr. Williams’ life philosophy, was published in December 1996. Other books being readied for publication include an innovative speakers resource manual with an extensive quotation collection as well as a textbook, Chiropractic: Its Science and Philosophy, written for both the lay person and the professional. Dr. Sid as also authored Making Lasting Purpose A Way of Life and The Road To success Starts In The Heart.
In 1970, Dr. Sid began publication of Today’s Chiropractic magazine with a circulation of over 65,000 keeping chiropractors informed with features, research developments and news concerning their growing profession.
In 1974, Dr. Sid was joined by Dr. Nell and friends to found Life Chiropractic College. When the doors opened in January 1975, there were only twenty-two students in the rented space that has grown into a multi-disciplined institution of higher education. From those early efforts, Life dramatically expanded to include the largest chiropractic college in the world. Enrollment swelled to almost 5,000 students in the Schools of Chiropractic, Graduate and Undergraduate Studies. The College became Life University in March 1997.
In addition to Life, Dr. Sid founded a separate institution, Life Chiropractic College West in San Lorenzo, California. This dynamic campus now has over 500 students.
VISION AND LIFE'S WORK
From childhood, Dr. Williams has had a profound reverence for the “wee small voice” within himself that he listened to as a young boy. Since that time, he has found a spiritual peace that he calls an “Innate awareness.” He sought a constant, moment-by-moment relationship with this Innate understanding, and he yielded to the wisdom that this relationship provided during his demanding and visionary pursuits.