Zegeer had a dramatic impact on mining and mine safety in the U.S. He had a long career in the coal industry in Kentucky with Consolidation Coal Co. and Beth Elkhorn Corp. (owned by Bethlehem Steel). He mentored many people in that time. After retiring to Lexington and serving as a mining consultant for several years, he accepted the position as assistant secretary for the U.S. Department of Labor, Mine Safety and Health Administration in 1983, where he remained until 1987.
He retired again to Lexington working as a consulting engineer for the remainder of his active career. He had developed a reputation as an expert on mine explosions and their prevention and traveled worldwide. One of his retirement goals had been to write a book that chronicled his time as head of MSHA, including a history of the agency. When his health began to decline, he retained Ms. Shannon Lamkin to pull his notes together. He had read and approved the final chapter of the book the week before he passed. It is part memoir, part history, and part commentary on one man’s contribution to the industry he loved and dedicated to the miners in the U.S. who have made this country what it is today.
All proceeds after expenses of this book will go to benefit the David A. Zegeer Mine Health & Safety Scholarship at the University of Kentucky, Department of Mining Engineering.