Between 1938 and 1953 John David was never defeated in weightlifting competition. During that period he won two Olympic gold medals, seven World Championships, 11 National Championships, and the 1951 Pan American Games gold medal (in heavyweight +82.5 kg (482.5 kg)). He was the first lifter to clean & jerk over 400 lbs. (182 kg.), and the second man to total over 1,000 lbs. (454 kg.) for three lifts. His only defeat before his retirement came at the 1953 World Championship when he was hampered by a thigh injury, and finished second to Canada’s Doug Hepburn. Davis worked for many years with the New York City Department of Corrections before his retirement.