James E. Sullivan

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James Edward Sullivan (born November 18, 1862 in New York City , † September 16, 1914 there ) was an Irish-American sports functionary , one of the founders of organized American sports and responsible for the organization of the 1904 Olympic Games .


After school, Sullivan started working as a journalist and editor at Frank Leslie's Publications at the age of 16. In 1880 he published his own magazine, The Athletics News . In addition, he began with sports books and the production and distribution of sporting goods, for which he advertised in his magazine. At the age of 15 he started athletics , at 16 and at 17 he was club champion ( Pastime Athletic Club ) in all-around. He was also involved in the organization of competitions and was one of the founders of the American Sports Confederation, the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) in 1888, was Secretary-Treasurer from 1889 to 1906, then President from 1906 to 1909. He was also the Chairman of the Irish Sports Associations of New York State and a member of the New York City Board of Education from 1908 to 1912. Sullivan was also the organizer and second president of the Outdoor Recreation League , a forerunner of the Playground Association of America .

In 1904 he was responsible for the sporting events during the World Exhibition in St. Louis and thus at the same time the director of the Olympic Games and the Olympic Games Committee (OGC). Pierre de Coubertin thought Sullivan was an illiterate business man, a sports official of the worst kind, whom he considered to be the "leprosy disease" of sport. Now he had been kicked out by Sullivan, which is why Coubertin did not even go to St. Louis to his games and instead invited to the 6th session of the IOC a week before the start of the games in London. At the Olympic Games in London in 1908 , Sullivan tried to enforce the American athletics rules against the organizers' English rules and submitted at least one protest a day. As a result, the international athletics association IAAF was founded at the next Olympic Games in order to make the rules internationally binding. In 1911 he was seriously injured in a train wreck in Fort Wayne , Indiana . In 1914 he died of an operation. The AAU has honored him annually since 1930 by honoring the best amateur athlete of the year with the James E. Sullivan Memorial Award . In 1977 he was inducted into the National Track & Field Hall of Fame .

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Stephan Wassong : Playgrounds and playgrounds the game movement in the USA and Germany; 1870 - 1930. Aachen: Meyer & Meyer 2007
  2. Boulogne, YP (1975). La vie et l'oeuvre pédagogique de Pierre de Coubertin, Ottawa: Leméac, p. 168.
  3. ^ Arnd Krüger : The Unfinished Symphony. A History of the Olympic Games from Coubertin to Samaranch, in: James Riordan & Arnd Krüger (Eds.): The International Politics of Sport in the 20th Century. London: Routledge 1999, pp. 3-27.
  4. ^ John A. Lucas: Early Antagonists: Pierre de Coubertin versus James E. Sullivan, Stadium 3 (1977): 264-266.
  5. JE Sullivan This After an Operation. America's Foremost Leader in Athletics and Recreation Work iII Few Days. Did Much to Revive Classic Olympic Games and Was Strong Factor In Public School Athletics. New York Times. September 17, 1914
  6. Dumas Malone (Ed.): "James E. Sullivan," Dictionary of American Biography, Volume 18, New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1936. pp. 118-119.