James Shepherd

James Shepherd, who co-founded Buckhead’s Shepherd Center rehabilitation hospital after receiving a paralyzing spinal cord injury in 1973, died Dec. 21 at age 68, according to the hospital.
Shepherd was an Atlanta native and graduate of Buckhead’s Westminster Schools and the University of Georgia. Frustrated by the lack of rehabilitation hospitals in the Southeast after being injured in a body surfing accident, he co-founded the Shepherd Center in 1975 with his parents Alana and the late Harold Shepherd and Dr. David Apple.
Today, the 2020 Peachtree Road hospital is among the nation’s top rehabilitation and research facilities. James Shepherd long served as chairman of its board of directors.
“This is an enormous loss for Shepherd Center and the community,” said Shepherd Center president and CEO Sarah Morrison in a press release. “James was a dedicated and passionate advocate for people with disabilities. We will miss seeing him in the halls at Shepherd, during his visits with patients and staff, and most deeply, in our hearts.”
For more about Shepherd and for details on is memorial service, which are still being finalize, visit this link.

John Ruch is an Atlanta-based journalist. Previously, he was Managing Editor of Reporter Newspapers.