Bo Roberson

Biographical information

RolesCompeted in Olympic Games
Full nameIrvin "Bo"•Roberson
Used nameBo•Roberson
Born23 July 1935 in Blakely, Georgia (USA)
Died15 April 2001 in Pasadena, California (USA)
Measurements185 cm / 81 kg
AffiliationsUS Army, (USA)
NOC United States
Medals OG
Gold 0
Silver 1
Bronze 0
Total 1


In 1958, Cornell’s “Bo” Roberson was ranked only 25th in the world as a long jumper with a mark of 24-10½ (7.58) when competing for the Cornell/Penn team against Oxford/Cambridge. Roberson showed dramatic improvement in 1959 when he won the Pan American Games with a wind-aided 26-2 (7.97) and had a legitimate mark of 26-0 (7.92). In 1960 he qualified for the Olympic team by pushing the defending champion, Greg Bell, back into fourth place, and at the Rome Games he came within one centimeter of matching Ralph Boston’s winning jump. Had Roberson jumped one centimeter further, he would have won the Olympic title by virtue of having a superior second longest jump. In 1961, Roberson signed a pro football contract with the San Diego Chargers. He played defensive back in the AFL for six years, first with the Chargers, then four years with the Oakland Raiders, and finished up with a few games with the Buffalo Bills and Miami Dolphins. He later became a track coach at Cal/Irvine.

Personal Bests: 100y – 9.5 (1961); 220y – 21.4 (1961); LJ – 26-7¼ (8.11) (1960).


Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal As
1960 Summer Olympics Athletics USA Bo Roberson
Long Jump, Men (Olympic) 2 Silver

Special Notes