Lawson Robertson

Biographical information

RolesCompeted in Olympic Games • Competed in Intercalated Games
Full nameLawson•Robertson
Used nameLawson•Robertson
Born23 September 1883 in Alford, Scotland (GBR)
Died22 January 1951 in Norristown, Pennsylvania (USA)
Measurements183 cm / 68 kg
AffiliationsI-AAC, Queens, New York (USA)
NOC United States
Medals OG IG
Gold 0 0
Silver 0 1
Bronze 1 1
Total 1 2


After being declared the winner of the 1904 AAU 100 yds, although in a controversial finish (Bill Hogensen probably actually won), as a member of the Irish-American AC, Lawson Robertson was appointed coach of the club in 1909. Although he enjoyed moderate success as an athlete, Robertson will be best remembered as an outstanding coach. He remained as coach of the Irish-American club until 1916 when he took up an appointment at Penn. Robertson remained at Franklin Field for 31 years, except for a brief period during World War I, when he served as a lieutenant in the air service. Robertson was assistant coach to the U.S. Olympic teams in 1912 and 1920 and was head coach in 1924, 1928, 1932, and 1936. Robertson’s most controversial moment as Olympic coach occurred in 1936 when he changed the line-up for the US 4×100 relay at the last moment, replacing Marty Glickman and Sam Stoller with Jesse Owens and Ralph Metcalfe. Glickman and Stoller were both Jewish and some thought that Robertson’s move was to avoid insulting the Nazi’s and their hatred of Jews.

Personal Bests: 100 – 11.0 (1908); 200 – 22.3 (1906).


Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal As
1904 Summer Olympics Athletics USA Lawson Robertson
60 metres, Men (Olympic) 3 h3 r1/2
100 yards, Men (Olympic (non-medal)) 4
100 metres, Men (Olympic) 6
200 metres, Men (Olympic) DNS
220 yards, Men (Olympic (non-medal)) 2
Standing High Jump, Men (Olympic) 3 Bronze
Standing Long Jump, Men (Olympic) DNS
Standing Triple Jump, Men (Olympic) DNS
1906 Intercalated Games Athletics USA Lawson Robertson
100 metres, Men (Intercalated) 5
400 metres, Men (Intercalated) 2 h4 r1/3
Marathon, Men (Intercalated) DNS
Standing High Jump, Men (Intercalated) =2 Silver
Standing Long Jump, Men (Intercalated) 3 Bronze
Pentathlon (Ancient), Men (Intercalated) 6
1908 Summer Olympics Athletics USA Lawson Robertson
100 metres, Men (Olympic) 2 h4 r2/3
200 metres, Men (Olympic) 2 h3 r1/3
Standing High Jump, Men (Olympic) AC
Standing Long Jump, Men (Olympic) DNS