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History & Presidents of the ADA

The first president of the American Dental Association was William Henry Atkinson (1815–1891). He served the ADA from 1860-1861 and again from 1861-1862. Atkinson originally trained as a physician, but later became interested in dentistry and the opportunities it offered at that time for a young man starting a practice.

Since its founding in 1859, there have been 157 presidents of the American Dental Association. Each of these individuals represented some of the best in the profession and the list of ADA presidents reads as a who's who of the history of dentistry. Among the better known are G. V. Black and Thomas Hinman.

  • 1860-1880
  • 1880-1900
  • 1900-1920
  • 1920-1940
  • 1940-1960
  • 1960-1980
  • 1980-2000
  • 2000-Present