Ernest Lee Jahncke

Biographical information

Full nameErnest Lee•Jahncke
Used nameErnest Lee•Jahncke
Born13 October 1877 in New Orleans, Louisiana (USA)
Died16 November 1960 in New Orleans, Louisiana (USA)
NOC United States


Ernest Lee Jahncke was made a member of the IOC in 1927 and had a short, controversial tenure on the committee. Jahncke graduated from Tulane in 1899 as an engineer and joined his father’s firm, the Jahncke Shipbuilding Company. A member of the American Society of Civil Engineers, he was the engineer who built the seawall in New Orleans running from the West End to the Spanish Fort. From a wealthy family he served as President of his family’s philanthropic arm, the Jahncke Service and the Jahncke Interest in New Orleans. He was later elected to the Louisiana State legislature and in 1929, President Hoover appointed him to be Assistant Secretary of the Navy, a position he held through March 1933.

As an IOC Member Jahncke attended only one of nine IOC Sessions held during his years on the committee. In 1936 he strongly opposed American participation in the Berlin Olympics, and spoke out strongly in favor of a boycott, despite his own German heritage. He was asked to resign by the IOC but refused. In February 1936, at a hastily called IOC Session during the Winter Olympics in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, the first Session ever held at the Winter Olympics, he was voted off the IOC and was replaced by future IOC President Avery Brundage.

Organization roles

Role Organization Tenure NOC As
Member International Olympic Committee 1927—1936 USA Ernest Lee Jahncke