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John Gorham

Biographical information

TypeCompeted in Olympic Games
Full nameJohn Marshall•Gorham
Used nameJohn•Gorham
Born25 November 1853 in Tonbridge, Kent, England (GBR)
Died12 January 1929 in Cranbrook, Kent, England (GBR)
NOC Great Britain


The son of a surgeon, John Gorham was a pioneering electrician in the latter part of the 19th century and was the joint managing director of Drake and Gorham who provided the electric lighting systems for some well known English establishments, including Windsor Castle, Kensington Palace, Chatsworth House, the Bank of England, and Eton College. Amongst their distinguished clients they could boast such names as the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Earl of Derby, Lord Beaverbrook and fellow motorboating enthusiast Thomas, Lord Howard de Walden. Gorham also spent some time as an electrical engineer to the King of Romania.

Gorham was also a director of the Daimler car company in its formative years and his great engineering skill helped the company through its difficult early days. Automobiles were in his blood and he became a life member of the newly formed Automobile Club of Great Britain and Ireland and was also to serve on the committee. Gorham was also a member of the Royal Thames and Royal London Yacht Clubs and was keen to try the new water sport of motorboating and in 1908 entered his boat Quicksilver in the Olympic B-Class competition and was accompanied by his wife Sophia Gorham. Sadly, strong winds and wicked water conditions in Southampton Water forced them to retire.


Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal As
1908 Summer Olympics Motorboating GBR John Gorham
B-Class (Under 60 feet), Open (Olympic) Sophia Gorham AC

Olympic family relations