John Hurd

Biographical information

RolesCompeted in Olympic Games
Full nameJohn Gavin•Hurd
Used nameJohn•Hurd
Born2 July 1914 in Sacramento, California (USA)
Died6 September 2001 in San Antonio, Texas (USA)
AffiliationsPeroy Salle d'Armes
NOC United States


John Hurd took up fencing at Harvard College, after he failed to make the football and boxing teams, and where he won the IFA (Intercollegiate Fencing Association) foil title in 1934. He was in Naval ROTC in college, and joined the Navy upon graduation from Harvard Law School in 1937. Hurd served in the Navy during World War II, where he was a surface warfare officer on destroyer escorts in the North Atlantic. He received the Bronze Star with Combat V, and retired from the Navy with the rank of Commander in 1946. After the war, he lived in San Francisco for a few years, working as an attorney with Pillsbury, Madison & Sutro, primarily working for Standard Oil, and then joining them in their land development section.

Hurd then joined with Radcliffe Killam to start Killam & Hurd, an independent oil and gas exploration and production company based in Laredo, Texas. In 1982 Hurd established Hurd Enterprises, Ltd. in San Antonio, another giant in the oil and gas business. He served as President of the Texas Independent Producers and Royalty Owner’s Association, as a Director of the Texas Mid-continent Oil and Gas Association, and was a member of the All American Wildcatters Association.

In the 1950s Hurd became a leader in the Republican Party in Texas and was a delegate to the Republican Presidential Conventions of 1964 and 1968. He was Deputy State Chairman of the Republican Party in Texas in 1967-68, and Chairman of the Texas Nixon for President Committee in 1968. In 1970 President Nixon nominated Hurd to become Ambassador to South Africa, and he served in that capacity through 1975.


Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal As
1936 Summer Olympics Fencing USA John Hurd
Foil, Team, Men (Olympic) United States =5