Michael Alexander

Biographical information

RolesCompeted in Olympic Games
Full nameMichael O'Donel Bjarne•Alexander
Used nameMichael•Alexander
Born19 June 1936 in Winchester, England (GBR)
Died1 June 2002 in City of London, England (GBR)
Measurements188 cm / 74 kg
NOC Great Britain
Medals OG
Gold 0
Silver 1
Bronze 0
Total 1


Michael Alexander was born in England and raised in Ireland, the son of Conel Hugh O’Donel Alexander, a British cryptanalyst and chess champion. Michael learned Russian, served in the Royal Navy, and studied at Yale University prior entering the UK’s Diplomatic Service in 1962, but first took a break to realize his international athletic ambitions. A fencer from a young age, he was competing out of the city of Cambridge when he was selected to represent Great Britain at the 1960 Summer Olympics, where he took home a silver medal as a member of the national épée team. He served diplomatic posts in Moscow, Singapore, London, and Vienna prior to becoming the Assistant Private Secretary to the Secretary of State in 1972. In 1977 he was made the Deputy Head of the Personnel Operations Department and, a year later, the full Head. From 1979 through 1981 he was the Private Secretary to Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and then served until 1986 as the nation’s ambassador to Austria. This was followed by a stint (1986-1992) as the ambassador to NATO and a final position as the Chairman of the Royal United Services Institute for Defence Studies until his death in 2002.


Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal As
1960 Summer Olympics Fencing GBR Michael Alexander
Épée, Team, Men (Olympic) Great Britain 2 Silver

Special Notes