Ben Eastman

Biographical information

RolesCompeted in Olympic Games
Full nameBenjamin Bangs "Ben"•Eastman
Used nameBen•Eastman
Nick/petnamesBlazin' Ben
Born9 July 1911 in Burlingame, California (USA)
Died6 October 2002 in Hotchkiss, Colorado (USA)
Measurements185 cm / 70 kg
AffiliationsOlympic Club, San Francisco (USA)
NOC United States
Medals OG
Gold 0
Silver 1
Bronze 0
Total 1


In 1931 Ben Eastman helped Stanford set a world record for the 4×440 y relay (with the non-Olympians Maynor Shore, Al Hables, and Les Hables) and eight days later equalled Ted Meredith’s 15-year-old world record of 47.4 for the 440 y. While at Stanford Eastman won the IC4A 880 yards in 1931-32.

Early the following season, Eastman came up with what was probably the most impressive performance of an outstanding career. Running for Stanford against the Los Angeles AC on his home track at Palo Alto, he clocked 46.4 to clip exactly one second off the world 440 y record, which he already shared. Later the same afternoon he ran a 45.9 relay leg. Eastman followed this in June with 1:50.9 for 880 y, having been timed enroute at 1:50.0 for 800 m – both world records.

On the advice of his coach, Dink Templeton, Eastman ran the 400 m at the 1932 Olympics, but could not match the finishing speed of Bill Carr. Eastman continued to run for several years, mostly at longer distances. He set world records for 500 m, 600 y, 800 m and 880 y before he took off 20 months because of business commitments. Eastman won the 1934 AAU title at 800 metres, but after placing fifth in the 800 m at the 1936 Olympic Trials, he retired.

After his athletic career ended, Eastman worked for a diesel engine company and then started an equipment business, but eventually he moved to Colorado and grew fruit, setting up an orchard with a kit from the Sears catalog. He served on the Colorado Agriculture Commission for 12 years, and died of pneumonia at age 91.

Personal Bests: 200 – 21.4 (1933); 440y – 46.4 (1932); 880y – 1:49.8 (1934).


Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal As
1932 Summer Olympics Athletics USA Ben Eastman
400 metres, Men (Olympic) 2 Silver
4 × 400 metres Relay, Men (Olympic) United States DNS