New-York Historical Society's Bill Shannon Dictionary of New York Sports

Tag Archives: Track and field

Mal Whitfield

Mal Whitfield (Track and field.  Born, Bay City, TX, Oct. 11, 1924.)  Malvin G. Whitfield was one of the great half milers of his (or any other) time as a five-time Olympic medalist for the U.S., winning the gold in the 800 meters in both London (1948) and Helsinki (1952). He was also on the […]

Bert Rosenthal

Bert Rosenthal (Sportswriter.  Born, New York, NY, June 10, 1936.)  Following his graduation from City College, Bert Rosenthal joined The Associated Press’ New York sports desk as a baseball statistician under Ben Olan in 1957.  Rosenthal was later to become one of the country’s leading track and field writers.  He moved to the A.P. Bureau […]

Bob Richards

Bob Richards (Track and field.  Born, Champaign, IL, Feb. 2, 1926.)  The first athlete to appear on the front of a Wheaties cereal box (in 1958), Rev. Robert Richards achieved several unique distinctions in his athletic career.  He is the only pole vaulter ever to win the event twice in the Olympic Games, 1948 and 1952.  […]

Abel Kiviat

Abel Kiviat (Track and field.  Born, New York, NY, June 23, 1892; died, Lakehurst, NJ, Aug. 24, 1991.)  At age 17, in 1909, a young runner from the Lower East Side of Manhattan joined the Irish-American A.C. track team.  A year later, Abel Kiviat became captain of the team, then among the more prominent of […]

Ben Johnson

Ben Johnson (Track and field.  Born, Philadelphia, PA, July 24, 1914; died, Harrisburg, PA, Dec. 17, 1992.)  A high school track star from Plymouth (Penna.), Benjamin Johnson was perhaps the best U.S. sprinter of the 1930s who never ran for his country in the Olympics.  As a 17-year-old prep runner, he missed by one spot […]

Lon Myers

Lon Myers (Track and field. Born, Richmond, VA, Feb. 16, 1858; died, New York, NY, Feb. 15, 1899.) Perhaps at no time in track and field history has a single athlete dominated the sport the way Lawrence E. Myers did from 1879-85, during which time he set world and American records at virtually every distance […]

Harry Hillman

Harry Hillman (Track and field.  Born, Brooklyn, NY, Sept. 8, 1881; died, Hanover, NH, Aug. 9, 1945.)  Starting in 1899 with the Knickerbocker A.C., Harry Livingston Hillman, Jr., was primarily a hurdler.  Hillman, a bank teller by trade, joined the New York A.C. in 1902, two years before he won three Olympic golds.  Hillman was […]

Jimmy Herbert

Jimmy Herbert (Track and field.  Born, New York, NY, July 20, 1915; died, The Bronx, NY, Oct. 23, 1997.)  A middle-distance runner of note, James Bruineo Herbert ran for the Curb Exchange A.A. (1934-37), N.Y.U. (1938-42), and the Grand Street Boys (1943-47).  Herbert is believed to have won more races at Madison Square Garden than […]

Jesse Owens

Jesse Owens (Track and field.  Born, Danville, AL, Sept. 12, 1913; died, Tucson, AZ, Mar. 31, 1980.)  James Cleveland Owens, a spectacular high school athlete in Ohio and then an even more spectacular performer at Ohio State, achieved sports immortality in the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin.  He also provided outstanding performances for New York […]

Al Oerter

Al Oerter  (Track and field.  Born, New York, NY, Sept. 19, 1936; died, Fort Myers, FL, Oct. 1, 2007.)  Alfred Adolf Oerter, Jr., earned his permanent place in the annals of American sports heroes by becoming the only man ever to win an Olympic gold medal in his specialty in four successive Olympics.  Oerter turned this […]

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The Bill Shannon Biographical Dictionary of New York Sports is an open database of sports biographies maintained by Jordan Sprechman and Marty Appel. We welcome public and scholarly contributions and suggestions.

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A prolific author, wire service sports reporter, long time Major League Baseball official scorer, football statistician, sports museum founder, theatrical agency owner and public ... read more

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