A Tribute to Bob King

For so many of the members of the Illinois Chapter of AMTA, Bob King has been a major
influence in our careers. For those who may not know about Bob’s influence and legacy, it is
highly likely that you have benefitted from Bob’s vision and leadership through others who
were influenced and/or educated by him. Bob’s inspiration stretches far beyond Illinois as he
had a profound, positive impact on the profession as a whole.
Robert K. “Bob” King (1948-2013) co-founded the Chicago School of Massage with James
Hackett; that school gained national acclaim for its teaching excellence and success of its
graduates. On a national level, Bob was the President of the American Massage Therapy
Association from 1986 to 1990. During his four years as AMTA president, Bob was also
instrumental in the founding of the Massage Therapy Foundation.
One of the principles that guided Bob’s vision for the profession was the idea of giving back to
the community. Students enrolled at the Chicago School of Massage Therapy were required to
perform massage therapy in a community service setting. Many former students still speak of
how impactful that experience was to them and the people they treated. When discussions of
the formation of a foundation began, Bob strongly advocated that community service should be
one of the pillars of its existence. That vision came to reality, and to date, the Massage Therapy
Foundation has granted over $500,000 to 90 different Community Service Grants all over the
globe, serving diverse populations ranging from prisoners transitioning back to society, to
children orphaned by the Japanese tsunami, to farm laborers in Central Mexico. The
Community Service Grants also provide valuable data on special populations and health
resource disparities.
As we approach the 10-year anniversary of Bob’s passing, the Massage Therapy Foundation
seeks to honor his memory through an initiative that speaks to two aspects of the profession
that Bob was most passionate about: the education of new therapists and rendering
compassionate service to those in need. In this spirit, we aim to raise $15,000 to fund MTF
Community Service Grants earmarked for schools so that they may involve students in using
their skills to help those in need who would otherwise not be able to access the benefits of
massage therapy.
Our hope is to provide ten massage therapy schools with a $1,500 grant to implement a
community service outreach in their community. This will benefit the school, student, and
population receiving massage therapy, and be a shining example of the caring nature of this
We are only $4,000 away from achieving this goal of helping schools make a difference in their
respective communities. Will you help make this goal a reality? Please also share this with other

therapists and people who have benefitted from Bob’s legacy. In the 10th anniversary of his
death, it is a fitting tribute to the good that Bob King brought to the world.
Learn more about the Bob King Legacy fund and hear Bob’s acceptance speech for the 2009
MTF/Performance Health Humanitarian Award at https://massagetherapyfoundation.org/get-involved/fundraisers/bob-king-legacy/