Henry Bailey

Biographical information

RolesCompeted in Olympic Games
Full nameHenry Marvin•Bailey
Used nameHenry•Bailey
Born24 April 1893 in Walterboro, South Carolina (USA)
Died1 November 1972 in Walterboro, South Carolina (USA)
Measurements170 cm
AffiliationsUS Marine Corps, (USA)
NOC United States
Medals OG
Gold 1
Silver 0
Bronze 0
Total 1


The career marine, Henry Bailey was a gunnery sergeant during the 1924 Olympics but rose to the rank of chief warrant officer before his Marine retirement in 1947. He enlisted in the marines in 1910 and immediately established himself as one of their top marksmen. He was awarded the U.S. Marine Corps Distinguished Pistol Shooting award in 1921 and Distinguished Marksman award in 1929. Several times he competed on marine shooting teams which won national championships. At the 1924 Olympics, Bailey won his gold with a display of steel nerves. He tied for first place with Wilhelm Carlberg of Sweden and neither missed a shot through six shoot-off strings. On his seventh string, Bailey’s pistol jammed but with an instant reaction he reached for the slide with his free hand, cleared the jam, and fired off five perfect shots – all within eight seconds. This performance so unnerved Carlberg that the Swede missed two shots and Bailey had his gold medal.


Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal As
1924 Summer Olympics Shooting USA Henry Bailey
Rapid-Fire Pistol, 25 metres, Men (Olympic) 1 Gold