Tuesday, March 22, 2016
William Rossi DPM (1911 -2003)
Bill Rossi was a podiatrist who became a prolific commentator on matters of the foot and footwear. In 1984 he was commission to write Professional Shoe Fitting (co-authored by Ross Tenant, D.P.M.), by the National Shoe Retailers Association (NSRA) and the book continues to be the industry's authoritative basis for training people to fit shoes. Bill was the son of a custom shoe maker who also owned a family shoe store in Boston that served customers for more than 50 years. The young Rossi helped out in the store, where his lifelong fascination with shoes and the feet they cover began. Bill graduated from Middlesex College of Podiatry by age 18 and then enlisted in the U.S. Army, where he served through World War II. Following the war, he moved back into the shoe industry as a writer and editor.
Rossi authored six other books on footwear and the shoe business; the toe curlingly funny The Sexlife of the Foot and Shoe and the definitive The Complete Footwear Dictionary as well as four retail sales training manuals; hundreds of articles for a variety of publications, including the Encyclopedia Britannica; and 18 years' worth of columns for Footwear News. He also served as a marketing expert for Stride Rite. Over the course of his career, Rossi visited and studied the footwear industry in 28 countries. William Rossi passed away in 2003 at the age of 92.