Born in Israel, Ike Berger became a naturalized American citizen in December 1955 and immediately began winning weightlifting titles for the United States. In addition to his three Olympic medals, he was world featherweight champion in 1958 and 1961, and was the runner-up for that title in 1957, 1959, and 1963. His 1961 World Championships victory revenged his 1960 Olympic defeat at the hands of the Soviet, Yevgeny Minayev. He also won two gold medals in featherweight at the Pan American Games (1959 and 1963) and was an eight-time national champion. Berger was inducted into the US Weightlifting Hall of Fame in 1965 and the International Jewish Sports Hall of Fame in 1980.