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John Anderson

Biographical information

Medals OG
Gold 1
Silver 0
Bronze 0
Total 1
TypeCompeted in Olympic Games
Full nameJohn Franklin•Anderson
Used nameJohn•Anderson
Born4 July 1907 in Cincinnati, Ohio (USA)
Died11 July 1948 in Nankek, Alaska (USA)
Measurements186 cm / 97 kg
AffiliationsNYAC, New York (USA)
NOC United States


After placing fifth in the 1928 discus, John Anderson improved to beat the world record holder, Paul Jessup, at the 1932 Final Trials. He then took the gold medal in Los Angeles with a new Olympic record. He won the AAU title in 1933 and in June 1936 he had the best throw of his career in winning the Eastern Olympic Trials, 165-9 (50.62), but he failed to make a third consecutive Olympic team. Anderson was also an above-average performer with the shot and won the 1929 IC4A indoor shot put title.

While at Cornell, Anderson played tackle on the football team for three years, was on the track team for three years, captaining it as a senior, and was president of the student council in his last year. Anderson was thought by Hollywood to have “dazzling masculine beauty” and after the 1932 Olympics he stayed on in California to star in the film “Search for Beauty”. Later, experience gained in the Pacific during the war as a lieutenant commander in the naval reserve led to his obtaining a post as chief navigator of a salmon fishing fleet. While on an expedition some 300 miles west of Anchorage, he suffered a brain hemorrhage and died immediately, aged only 41.

Personal Best: DT – 50.62 (1936).


Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal As
1928 Summer Olympics Athletics USA John Anderson
Discus Throw, Men (Olympic) 5
1932 Summer Olympics Athletics USA John Anderson
Discus Throw, Men (Olympic) 1 Gold