Daniel R. Boone, 1976 ASHA president, died Oct. 27, 2018, at age 90, in Tucson, Arizona.
Boone joined the U.S. Army in 1945, and after several stateside assignments was deployed in 1946 to Korea. After his honorable discharge in 1947, he attended the University of Redlands, graduating with a bachelor’s degree in speech-language pathology in June 1951. From 1951 to 1953, he worked as an SLP in the Long Beach VA Hospital with World War II and Korean War veterans who had aphasia. Boone received both a master’s and PhD from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, where he was an assistant professor. He also held academic appointments at the University of Kansas Medical Center, University of Denver, and University of Arizona, from which he retired in 1988 as professor emeritus.
For the first 20 years of his career, Boone treated and researched various neurogenic disorders (aphasia, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s). With the success of his voice text, “The Voice and Voice Therapy,” now in its ninth edition and available in seven languages, Boone devoted the last 40-plus years of his career to voice disorders and treatment. Boone lectured and presented workshops all over the world, and published more than 100 professional articles and 18 books. An ASHA Fellow and Honors recipient, he served as ASHA president and vice president, and was elected president of the Kansas and Colorado state speech-language hearing associations. Boone recently completed his 18th book, “Trouble Talking,” a personal narrative describing the communication disorders of 40 of his most memorable patients.
I am honored to give testament to the positive impact Dan Boone had on my life. I’m sure that my story is not unique, as his influence was far-reaching, yet personal to so many.
Dan taught my “Introduction to Speech and Hearing” course at the University of Arizona (U of A) in the early 1980s. The beginning of our relationship was an inauspicious one (to say the least). During one class period early in the semester, I was sitting in the back of the room working on an assignment for another class. He approached me afterwards, and firmly, but respectfully, informed me that if I ever did that again, he would dismiss me from class. Uh-oh! For every class thereafter, I sat front and center, and did everything I could to get back into his good graces. Fortunately for me, he was a forgiving professor.
A few years later I applied to graduate school at the U of A. To say that my GPA and GRE scores made me a highly competitive applicant would be a misstatement. I later learned that Dan personally lobbied the graduate school dean to reconsider my denied application, and I was granted provisional acceptance. He encouraged me to do a thesis, which was later published in JSLHR (Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research). We kept in close contact after graduation, and he ended almost every phone call or visit with the question, “When are you going to go back to school and get your doctorate?”
During my years as an early-career professor, Dan would regularly check in on me, and gave guest talks at my institution. He was quite the “celebrity,” with dozens of colleagues and students turning out for his presentations. Almost everyone had in hand one edition or another of “the Boone book,” which he gladly autographed. I distinctly remember a moment when we were sitting in my office, and he grabbed the seventh edition of his textbook off my bookshelf. He then wrote my name on a sticky note, folded it, and affixed it to the front cover. He then said to me, “Keep publishing your research, and I’ll add you as a co-author to a future edition.” True to his word, that silently harbored dream one day became a reality.
For all the above, he was even more giving to me on a personal level. His interest in my life journey as a man, husband and father is something I will cherish forever. For 35 years he was my champion on every level. May his memory and legacy be eternal.
Richard I. Zraick, PhD, CCC-SLP, is professor and director of the School of Communication Sciences and Disorders in the College of Health Professions and Sciences at the University of Central Florida. He is an ASHA Fellow and an affiliate of ASHA Special Interest Groups 2, Neurogenic Communication Disorders; 3, Voice and Voice Disorders; 10, Issues in Higher Education; and 11, Administration and Supervision. firstname.lastname@example.org.