Dr Proffit served as the chairman of the UNC department of Orthodontics from 1975-2001, and was still actively involved in teaching and lecturing at UNC and worldwide up until the time of his death. In 1992, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Board of Trustees honored Dr. Proffit by naming him a W.R. Kenan Distinguished Professor, which is considered one of the University’s most prestigious honors. His other accolades include: the 1994 American Dental Association Norton Ross Award, the 2005 American Board of Orthodontics Albert H. Ketchum Award, and the 2017 inaugural American Association of Orthodontics Lifetime Achievement Award in Orthodontic Research. Dr. Proffit’s incredible expertise and unprecedented influence on orthodontics, not only in the United States but around the world, earned him global recognition as one of the leaders in orthodontics. He authored “Contemporary Orthodontics”, considered the definitive text for pre-doctoral and post-doctoral orthodontics students, which just recently was completed in its sixth edition and is printed in 12 languages. During his career, Dr. Proffit published more than 200 scientific papers, 20 book chapters and invited contributions.
He is survived by Sara, his wife of 65 years; three children, Lola Baker (Mike), Ed Proffit (Melissa), and Glenn Proffit (Laura), eight grandchildren, and nine great grandchildren.
In lieu of flowers, an endowed chair at UNC is being created in his honor. To make a memorial contribution to the Dr. William R. Proffit Professorship, please send donations to: The Dental Foundation of North Carolina, UNC School of Dentistry, 1090 First Dental Bldg., CB #7450 Chapel Hill, NC 27566-7450, or https://giving.unc.edu/gift/proffit
A memorial service was held at Carol Woods Retirement Community, 750 Weaver Dairy Road, Chapel Hill, on Saturday, October 6th at 3:00 in the afternoon.
The Proffit family is under the care of Walker's Funeral Home of Chapel Hill.