Walter Tewksbury

Biographical information

RolesCompeted in Olympic Games
Full nameWalter Beardsley•Tewksbury
Used nameWalter•Tewksbury
Born21 March 1876 in Ashley, Pennsylvania (USA)
Died24 April 1968 in Tunkhannock, Pennsylvania (USA)
Measurements183 cm / 64 kg
AffiliationsPenn Quakers, Philadelphia (USA)
NOC United States
Medals OG
Gold 2
Silver 2
Bronze 1
Total 5


Before graduating from Penn in 1899, Walter Tewksbury won both sprints at the IC4A meet in 1898 and 1899. He won a total of five medals at the 1900 Olympics, including a surprise victory over the French champion, Henri Tauzin, in the 400m hurdles. With hurdles fashioned out of telegraph poles and a 16-foot water jump before the finish, Tewksbury did well to clock 57.6. Tewksbury graduated from Wyoming Seminary, a prep school, in 1896, and then earned a dental degree from Penn in 1899 and practiced in his hometown of Tunkhannock. When he died in 1968 he was the last known American survivor of the 1900 Olympic Games.

Personal Bests: 100 – 10.8 (1900); 200 – 22.1 (1898); 400H – 57.6 (1900).


Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal As
1900 Summer Olympics Athletics USA Walter Tewksbury
60 metres, Men (Olympic) 2 Silver
100 metres, Men (Olympic) 2 Silver
200 metres, Men (Olympic) 1 Gold
400 metres, Men (Olympic) DNS
200 metres Hurdles, Men (Olympic) 3 Bronze
400 metres Hurdles, Men (Olympic) 1 Gold
400 metres Hurdles, Handicap, Men (Olympic (non-medal)) 2


Often seen as John Walter Beardsley, or JWB, Tewksbury, but John is apparently only a nonce name used in his fraternity at U Penn. Listed only as Walter Beardsley Tewksbury on his gravesite and his WWI draft registration form.