Harry Jerome

Biographical information

RolesCompeted in Olympic Games
Full nameHenry Winston "Harry"•Jerome
Used nameHarry•Jerome
Born30 September 1940 in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan (CAN)
Died7 December 1982 in Vancouver, British Columbia (CAN)
Measurements180 cm / 77 kg
AffiliationsOregon Ducks, Eugene (USA) / ?, North Vancouver (CAN)
NOC Canada
Medals OG
Gold 0
Silver 0
Bronze 1
Total 1


Harry Jerome’s grandfather, Army Howard, had been Canada’s top sprinter in the 1910s, but Jerome’s athletic prowess would eventually grow to eclipse that of his predecessor. Jerome took up track at the age of 17 and broke his first national record, in the 220 yards, one year later, eventually earning himself a scholarship to the University of Oregon. Within another two years he had not only represented his nation at the 1959 Pan American Games and the 1960 Summer Olympics, but in July 1960 had also tied West German Armin Hary’s world record of 10.0 in the 100 metres, which had been set less than a month previously. At the Olympics, a pulled muscle cost him his chance at racing in the 100 m final, and he was also eliminated in the opening round of the 4×100 metre relay alongside Lynn Eves, George Short, and Terry Tobacco. After tying the 9.2 second world record of Americans Frank Budd and Bob Hayes in the 100 yards, giving him the distinction of holding the 100 metre and yard world records concurrently, he suffered a leg injury at the 1962 British Empire and Commonwealth Games that nearly cost him his career. He recovered in time to attend the 1964 Summer Olympics, however, and won bronze in the 100 m behind Hayes and Enrique Figuerola of Cuba. He was also fourth in the 200 m, missing the podium by 0.16 seconds. Along the way, he was offered an opportunity to play Canadian football with the Montreal Alouettes, but declined.

Jerome still hungered for gold, however, and earned it at the 1966 British Empire and Commonwealth and the 1967 Pan American Games in the 100 yards and metres respectively. At the former, he was also fifth in the 4x110 yard relay with Don Domansky and the non-Olympians Ed Hearne and Terry Tomlinson. His final major international tournament was the 1968 Summer Olympics, where he finished seventh in the 100 m and was eliminated in the quarterfinals of the 200 m. He retired after the Games and worked to promote sports and physical activity across Canada, dying of a brain aneurysm at the age of only 42. Among numerous honors, he was made an Officer of the Order of Canada in 1971 and received a star on Canada’s Walk of Fame in 2001. The Black Business and Professional Association hosts the Harry Jerome Awards annually to recognize members of the African-Canadian community. Both the BBPA and BC Athletes also offer scholarships in Jerome’s name. His sister Valerie also competed at the 1960 Games.

Personal Bests: 100 – 10.17 (1968); 200 – 20.3y (1966).


Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal As
1960 Summer Olympics Athletics CAN Harry Jerome
100 metres, Men (Olympic) AC h1 r3/4
200 metres, Men (Olympic) DNS
4 × 100 metres Relay, Men (Olympic) Canada 2 h4 r1/3
4 × 400 metres Relay, Men (Olympic) Canada DNS
1964 Summer Olympics Athletics CAN Harry Jerome
100 metres, Men (Olympic) 3 Bronze
200 metres, Men (Olympic) 4
1968 Summer Olympics Athletics CAN Harry Jerome
100 metres, Men (Olympic) 7
200 metres, Men (Olympic) 8 h1 r2/4

Olympic family relations

Special Notes