Robert Garrett bigraphy, stories - Athletics (sport) competitor

Robert Garrett : biography

May 24, 1875 - April 25, 1961

Robert Garrett (May 24, 1875 – April 25, 1961) was an American athlete. He was the first modern Olympic champion in discus throw and shot put.


Born in Baltimore County, Maryland, Garrett came from a wealthy family and studied in Princeton University. He excelled in track and field athletics as an undergraduate, and was captain of the Princeton track team in both his junior and senior years. Garrett was primarily a shot-putter, though he also competed in the jumping events. When he decided to compete in the first modern Olympics in 1896, Professor William Milligan Sloane suggested he should also try the discus.

They consulted classical authorities to develop a drawing and Garrett hired a blacksmith to make a discus. It weighed nearly 30 pounds (14 kg) and it was impossible to throw any distance, so he gave up on the idea. Garrett paid for his own and three classmates' (Francis Lane third in 100 m, Herbert Jamison second in 400 m, and Albert Tyler second in pole vault) way to Athens to compete in the Olympics. When he discovered that a real discus weighs less than five pounds, he decided to enter the event for fun.

1900 Olympics

In the 1900 Olympics, Garrett placed third in the shot put and the standing triple jump. His bronze medal in the shot put was unusual, as he refused to compete in the final due to it being held on a Sunday. His qualifying mark was good enough to place him in third. He also competed in the discus throw again, but due to a poorly planned course was unable to set a legal mark as his discus throws all hit trees.

Garrett was the IC4A shot put champion in 1897.

In addition, Garrett was a member of the Tug-of-War team at the 1900 Olympics that was forced to withdraw because three of its six members were engaged in the hammer throw final.

Life after Olympics

Garrett later became a banker and donator to science, especially to history and archeology. He helped to organize and finance an archaeological expedition to Syria, led by Dr. John M. T. Finney. From 1932 to 1939, he was involved with the Committee for the Excavation of Antioch and Its Vicinity both helping to fund the excavations and working on them. His hobby was collecting Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts. In 1942 Garrett donated to Princeton University his collection of more than 11,000 manuscripts, including the Aksum Scrolls and sixteen Byzantine Greek manuscripts, containing rare and beautiful examples of illuminated Byzantine art for the use of scholars. He was for many years a trustee of Princeton University and The Baltimore Museum of Art.

Garrett had amassed this collection of historical volumes of Western and non-Western manuscripts, fragments, and scrolls, originating from Europe, the Near East, Africa, Asia and Mesoamerica, ca. 1340 B.C. – 1900s. He inherited his collecting interest from his father, Thomas Harrison Garrett, Princeton Class of 1868. After his father's sudden death in 1888, Garrett spent the following two and a half years traveling extensively with his mother and two brothers, Horatio and John, in Europe and the Near East. During his travels Garrett developed a particular interest in manuscripts and began collecting. He used the text Universal Paleography: or, Facsimiles of Writing of All Nations and Periods by J. B. Silvestre (by Sir Frederic Madden, London, 1949–50) as his guide for collecting primary examples of every known type of script.

Garrett was a leader in the development of public recreational facilities in Baltimore, many of which were privately funded by himself and his friends and colleagues. He was the first chairman of Baltimore's Department of Recreation, and the first chairman of the city's combined Department of Recreation and Parks. Mr. Garrett was through much of his life an active member of the National Recreation Association, and was elected its chairman in 1941. His value as a public citizen can clearly be recognized in the Baltimore mayoral campaign of 1947, when both the Republican and Democratic nominees promised that, if elected, they would name Garrett as chairman of the city's Department of Recreation and Parks. A devout Presbyterian throughout his life, he was a member of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church of the United States, and was recognized in 1948 as the year's outstanding layperson in the field of religious education by the International Council of Religious Education.

Living octopus

Living octopus

In countries which are located near sea coasts, sea food is an important part of national cuisine