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Fortune Gordien

Photo of Fortune Gordien

Inducted: 1979, athlete

Born: September 9, 1922 - Spokane, Washington
Deceased: April 10, 1990

Discus Throw - 59.28 m

A veteran of three Olympic Games, Fortune Gordien dominated the discus throw for a decade during the late 1940s and early 1950s, improving the world record four times. While at the University of Minnesota, he won three national collegiate titles from 1946 through 1948. He was also AAU national discus champion six times, from 1947 through 1950 and again in 1953 and 1954. Gordien set his first world record in 1949 and improved it three times in a four-year period, capped by his throw of 194' 6" in 1953. This throw was the first to exceed 190' and continued to be the world record until 1959. The only feat that eluded him was winning an Olympic gold medal. He was third in 1948, fourth in 1952, and second (behind Hall of Famer Al Oerter) in 1956. Gordien was still throwing close to 190' at the age of 38 and threw in Masters competition at the age of 48 in 1971. He was also a world-class shot putter, finishing second in the national championships and third in the NCAA championships in 1947. A gifted amateur magician, Gordien later became a track coach and cattle rancher.

Records Held
World Record: Discus Throw - 59.28 m (August 22, 1953 - )

1948 Olympics: Discus Throw (3rd)
1952 Olympics: Discus Throw (4th)
1956 Olympics: Discus Throw (2nd)
1947 AAU: Discus Throw (1st)
1947 AAU: Shot Put (2nd)
1948 AAU: Discus Throw (1st)
1949 AAU: Discus Throw (1st)
1950 AAU: Discus Throw (1st)
1953 AAU: Discus Throw (1st)
1954 AAU: Discus Throw (1st)
1946 NCAA: Discus Throw (1st)
1947 NCAA: Discus Throw (1st)
1947 NCAA: Shot Put (3rd)
1948 NCAA: Discus Throw (1st)

high school: Roosevelt (Minneapolis, Minnesota), 1944
undergraduate: Minnesota (Minneapolis, Minnesota), 1948

Track coach
Cattle rancher

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