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William Sloane

Biographical information

TypeIOC member
Full nameWilliam Milligan•Sloane
Used nameWilliam•Sloane
Born12 November 1850 in Richmond, Ohio (USA)
Died11 September 1928 in Bay Head, New Jersey (USA)
NOC United States


William Milligan Sloane was the first US Member of the IOC. With almost no sports background, his appointment came about because of his friendship with Pierre, Baron de Coubertin, whom he had met when de Coubertin made several American trips in the 1880s and ‘90s. De Coubertin was very interested in reforming educational processes in France and visited Sloane, who was then a professor of history at Princeton. Sloane had graduated from Columbia College in 1868. He then taught for four years before going to Germany as private secretary to George Bancroft, US Minister to Germany, in 1872. While there he studied at the universities in Berlin and Leipzig, earning his PhD degree from Leipzig in 1876. He was professor of Latin at Princeton from 1876-83, and of history from 1883-96, when he joined the faculty at Columbia University, serving as Seth Low Professor of History there until his death in 1928. Sloane wrote many books on European history, notably several esteemed volumes on Napoleon. He was later President of the American Academy of Arts and Letters (1920-28), the American Historical Association (1911), and the National Institute of Arts and Letters (1910). France made him an officer of the Legion d’Honneur and Sweden made him a knight of the North Star Order. Sloane was one of the founding members of the IOC, named in 1894, and serving on the IOC until 1924. In recognition of his outstanding work for the Olympic movement the USOC presented the IOC with a bust of Sloane, which now stands in Chateau de Vidy. Sloane was one of the founding members of the IOC, named in 1894, and serving on the IOC until 1924.

Organization roles

Role Organization Tenure NOC As
Member International Olympic Committee 1894—1924 USA William Sloane