Decades before the Americans With Disabilities Act passed in 1990, George Howard Snyder was an outspoken advocate for physically handicapped people. He understood the cause intimately, having become a quadriplegic in 1961 while serving with the Navy in the Philippines.
After moving from New Jersey to Fort Lauderdale in 1966, Snyder joined forces with the Paralyzed Veterans Association of Florida. He served two terms as president of the nonprofit organization, and actively worked to improve the lives of veterans with spinal cord injuries. By writing letters and speaking to government officials, Snyder was able to explain the unique needs of the handicapped community and offer suggestions on how to create better accessibility. He also served as the chairman of the Broward County Advisory Board for the Disabled.
Snyder won gold medals in the air gun, bowling and javelin events, a silver in the discus and a bronze in the shot put at the 1993 Veterans Wheelchair Games in Texas. In his spare time, he participated in the American Wheelchair Bowling Association, and invented a ball holder attachment for wheelchairs.
Snyder died on June 20. Cause of death was not released. He was 65.