Jean Shiley

Biographical information

RolesCompeted in Olympic Games
Full nameJean Marie•Shiley (-Newhouse)
Used nameJean•Shiley
Born20 November 1911 in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania (USA)
Died11 March 1998 in Los Angeles, California (USA)
Measurements172 cm / 61 kg
AffiliationsHaverford HS, Haverford (USA) / Meadowbrook Club, Philadelphia (USA)
NOC United States
Medals OG
Gold 1
Silver 0
Bronze 0
Total 1


As a 16-year-old schoolgirl from Haverford High School, Jean Shiley placed fourth in the 1928 Olympic high jump. The following year she won both the AAU indoor and outdoor titles and repeated the double for the next three years, although she tied for the 1932 outdoor title with Babe Didrikson. She was destined to meet Didrikson again later in the season in a classic Olympic final. Both cleared 5-5 (1.65) for a new world record, and in the jump-off both were over at 5-5¾ (1.67), but the judges ruled that Didrikson had illegally dived over the bar and the gold medal went to Shiley. IAAF rules at the time prohibited world records being recognized if set in a jump-off, so both Shiley and Didrikson were credited with a new world record of 5-5 (1.65). Jean Shiley, who joined the Meadowbrook Club of Philadelphia after leaving school, also set an unofficial world record of 5-3½ (1.61) at Boston in April 1930.

Personal Best: HJ – 1.65 (1932).


Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal As
1928 Summer Olympics Athletics USA Jean Shiley
High Jump, Women (Olympic) 4
1932 Summer Olympics Athletics USA Jean Shiley
High Jump, Women (Olympic) 1 Gold