Don Bragg

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Don Bragg (1960)

Donald George "Don" Bragg (born May 15, 1935 in Penns Grove , New Jersey , † February 16, 2019 ) was an American pole vaulter who was successful in the second half of the 1950s. Bragg went down in the history of athletics as the last world record jumper with a metal stick .

Bragg was the third of eight siblings on May 15, 1935 in the small town of Penns Grove, New Jersey, United States. His parents were circus performers William Hazard Bragg and Nellie Kalor.

Bragg's problem was that the metal bars broke regularly under his weight of almost 100 kg, which is unusual for a jumper. In addition to his height of 1.90 m and his weight, he also stood out for his vocal power: As a passionate admirer of Tarzan , he had made it a habit to imitate his striking screams in competition.

At the age of 19 he jumped 4.60 m. In the Olympic Games in Melbourne , however, he could not participate due to injury. His year of success was to be 1960: He won the Olympic Games in Rome with a height of 4.70 m, after setting a new world record with 4.80 m a month earlier on July 2, 1960 in Palo Alto , California would have. However, this was already improved in May 1961 by George Davies to 4.83 m - with the fiberglass rod strongly rejected by Bragg .

In 1960 he won the Berlin International Stadium Festival .

Donald Bragg, who graduated from Villanova University in 1957 , worked after finishing his career as a sports director at Stockton State College in New Jersey. He later went into business for himself as the operator of a holiday camp.

Bragg wrote a book called A Chance to Dare: The Don Bragg Story. He died in February 2019 at the age of 83.



  • 1955: NCAA champion
  • 1955–1957: IC4A master (outdoor and indoor)
  • 1956, 1958–1961: AAU master (Halle)
  • 1959: AAU master (open air)


Web links

  • USA Track & Field Hall of Fame entry
  • Don Bragg in the Sports-Reference database (English; archived from the original )

Individual proof

  1. 1960 Olympic pole vault champion Don Bragg dies. In: . February 18, 2019, accessed February 18, 2019 .