Gene Vidal

Biographical information

RolesCompeted in Olympic Games
Full nameEugene Luther "Gene"•Vidal
Used nameGene•Vidal
Born13 April 1895 in Madison, South Dakota (USA)
Died20 February 1969 in Los Angeles, California (USA)
Measurements178 cm / 82 kg
AffiliationsUS Army, (USA)
NOC United States


Gene Vidal is now best known as the father of famed author, Gore Vidal, but Gene Vidal had quite a life of his own. He attended college at both Nebraska and South Dakota, but later played quarterback at West Point, making some All-American teams, and briefly played in the nascent NFL in 1921 with the Washington Senators. He also played rugby and made one appearance for the US national team versus France in October 1920.

Vidal later taught aeronautics at West Point and was a pioneer in the aviation industry. He was the Director of the Commerce Department’s Bureau of Air Commerce from 1933–1937, and was one of the first Army Air Corps pilots. In one of the biographies of Amelia Earhart, Vidal is described as the great love of her life. Vidal founded three American airlines during the 1920s-30s, which later became Eastern Airlines, TWA, and Northeast Airlines (founded with Earhart). He was also an investor in the Boston and Maine Railroad.

Personal Best: Dec – 5781 (1920); 6462.320* (1922).


Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal As
1920 Summer Olympics Athletics USA Gene Vidal
Decathlon, Men (Olympic) 7

Special Notes