Notable Deaths ›

Horace Ashenfelter III (1923 – 2018), steeplechase gold medalist at the 1952 Olympics

AP Photo

The Olympic race was considered to be an early cold war confrontation

WEST ORANGE, N.J. (AP) — Horace Ashenfelter III, who set a world record in winning the steeplechase at the 1952 Olympic Games, died Saturday in West Orange, New Jersey. He was 94. 

Ashenfelter beat favorite Vladimir Kazantsev of the Soviet Union in a time of 8 minutes, 45.4 seconds. Ashenfelter was inducted into USA Track and Field's Hall of Fame in 1975. 


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An FBI agent before taking a sales position, Ashenfelter frequently ran in his hometown of Glen Ridge, New Jersey. The town's Thanksgiving Day run is named in his honor. 

As a runner at Penn State, Ashenfelter captured the two-mile title in 1949. He and his brothers Bill and Don also helped the Nittany Lions relay team win the Penn Relays 4-mile title. 

One of his grandsons is a middle-distance runner for Penn State. 

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