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Earl Thomson

Photo of Earl Thomson

Inducted: 1977, athlete

Born: February 15, 1895 - Prince Albert, CA
Deceased: April 19, 1971

120 yd. hurdles - 14.40
110 m hurdles - 14.80

Although a Canadian citizen, Earl Thomson achieved his greatest fame in the U.S., both as an athlete and coach. Thomson, who competed for Dartmouth College and the University of Southern California, was the first athlete to break 15 seconds for the high hurdles, setting a world record of 14.8 in 1916. He lost the world record to his brother-in-law, Robert Simpson (also a Hall of Famer), later that year. In 1920, Thomson regained it with a time of 14.4, a record that lasted for 11 years. He won the gold medal in the 110m hurdles while representing Canada in the 1920 Olympic Games. Thomson, who was almost totally deaf, won the national collegiate title in 1921 and took three National AAU titles. He became a coach at the University of West Virginia and later at Yale University. From there, he went on to coach at the U.S. Naval Academy, where his team won the 1945 national collegiate title.

Records Held
World Record: 120 yd. hurdles - 14.40
World Record: 110 m hurdles - 14.80 (August 18, 1920 - )

1920 Olympics: 110 m hurdles - 14.80 (1st)
1921 NCAA: 110 m hurdles (1st)

undergraduate: Dartmouth (Hanover, New Hampshire)
undergraduate: USC (Los Angeles, California), 1917


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