Robert de Courcy Laffan

Biographical information

TypeIOC member
Full nameRobert Stuart•de Courcy Laffan
Used nameRobert•de Courcy Laffan
Born18 January 1853 in Hanover Square, Greater London, England (GBR)
Died16 January 1927 in London, Greater London, England (GBR)
NOC Great Britain


Robert de Courcy Laffan studied in France and Switzerland before matriculating at Winchester College in England. He was then in the Indian Civil Service for three years and returned to study at Oxford in Merton College, where he stroked the eight. After college de Courcy Laffan started work as a schoolmaster, first at Derby School and then as Headmaster of King Edward VI School in Stratford-upon-Avon. During that time he was ordained into the Anglican Church in 1882. In 1895 de Courcy Laffan became Principal of Cheltenham College, but left that post in 1899, then becoming rector of St. Stephen’s, Walbrook, before serving as Chaplain to the British forces in World War I. De Courcy Laffan was a founding member and the first Honorary Secretary of the British Olympic Association, serving in that post from 1905-20, and then becoming Chairman from 1920-22. He also greatly assisted Lord Desborough with the organization of the 1908 Olympic Games in London. Born as Laffan, he changed his name by using his middle name of de Courcy as part of his surname, which implied an elevated social status.

Organization roles

Role Organization Tenure NOC As
Honorary Secretary British Olympic Council, 1908 GBR Robert de Courcy Laffan
Member International Olympic Committee 1897—1927 GBR Robert de Courcy Laffan
Chairman British Olympic Association 1920—1922 GBR Robert de Courcy Laffan

Special Notes