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Dr. Burpee


Timeline for Dr. Burpee

Dr. Burpee sailing, probably Lake George, NY, circa 1950

Dr. Burpee



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  • June 4, 1897

Born in New York City, New York.

  • 1918

Attended Officers’ Material School in Pelham Bay Park, NY. Entered Naval Auxiliary Reserves as Ensign, US Navy in World War I.

  • circa 1929

Began his career with the YMCA of New York City as Secretary of Health and Physical Education at Sloane House.


  • 1931

Published Differentiated Physical Education in The Journal of Physical Education, his first publication about fitness assessment of the non-athlete.

  • 1936

Earned MS, Applied Physiology, Columbia University. Thesis: Measuring Reaction Times of Athletes published in The Research Quarterly.


  • 1938

Copyrighted Key to New York City, written for the Recreation Information Service of Sloane House YMCA. A sightseeing guide for visitors to NYC.

  • 1939

The Book of Trips: Complete, Economical, Self-Guided Tours of New York published by Association Press with a foreword from Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia.

  • 1939

Earned PhD, Applied Physiology, Columbia University. Thesis: Seven Quickly Administered Tests of Physical Capacity, detailing the design of his exercise.

  • 1942

US enters World War II and adopts the Burpee test to quickly assess the physical capacity of recruits.


  • 1942

Appointed Overseas Program Director, United Service Organization (USO). USO’s holistic approach to soldiers’ well-being helped shape his philosophy.

  • circa 1945

Returns to Sloane House as Director. YMCA’s integrative approach to health feeds his belief in the virtues of physical activity and non-profit work.

  • January 13, 1987

Died in Easton, Northampton, Pennsylvania (89.5 years old).



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