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Jack Kelly, Jr.

Biographical information

Medals OG
Gold 0
Silver 0
Bronze 1
Total 1
TypeCompeted in Olympic Games
Full nameJohn Brenden "Jack"•Kelly, Jr.
Used nameJack•Kelly, Jr.
Born24 May 1927 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (USA)
Died2 March 1985 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (USA)
Measurements185 cm / 83 kg
AffiliationsVesper Boat Club, Philadelphia (USA)
NOC United States


John Kelly Jr. never quite enjoyed the great Olympic success of his father, Jack, Sr., but surely one of his most satisfying victories had to be in 1947 when he won the Diamond Sculls at the Henley Regatta, finally bringing that title to the Kelly family. It was one of many championships that he won, and included eight U.S. National single sculls titles, six Canadian single sculls championships, and two gold medals at the Pan American Games - single sculls in 1955 and double sculls in 1959 with Bill Knecht. Kelly, Jr. won the Diamond Sculls again in 1949, and was world singles champion in that year. At the Olympics, John, Jr. was not quite able to grab the gold ring, but at the 1956 Olympics, though probably a bit past his peak as a single sculler, he put on an outstanding performance to take the bronze behind Russia’s Vyacheslav Ivanov, and Australia’s Stuart Mackenzie. John Kelly, Jr. was very active in sports administration, especially in rowing. He served as a president of the AAU, president of the USOC, and president of the International Swimming Hall of Fame. His business was as chairman of the board of John B. Kelly, Inc., a masonry contracting company. He died of a heart attack and was posthumously awarded an Olympic Order in Silver.


Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal As
1948 Summer Olympics Rowing USA Jack Kelly, Jr.
Single Sculls, Men (Olympic) 2 h2 r3/4
1952 Summer Olympics Rowing USA Jack Kelly, Jr.
Single Sculls, Men (Olympic) 2 h2 r4/5
1956 Summer Olympics Rowing USA Jack Kelly, Jr.
Single Sculls, Men (Olympic) 3 Bronze
1960 Summer Olympics Rowing USA Jack Kelly, Jr.
Double Sculls, Men (Olympic) Bill Knecht 4 h3 r2/3

Organization roles

Role Organization Tenure NOC As
President United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee 1985—1985 USA Jack Kelly, Jr.

Olympic family relations

Special Notes