|Birth: ||Mar. 3, 1941|
|Death: ||Jan. 15, 2013|
Olympic Athlete. The first high jumper to clear seven feet indoors, he twice took Olympic medals for the United States in his event. The child of a working class family, he was raised in the Boston suburbs and was a star athlete at Rindge Technical High School of Cambridge; in 1959 while a freshman at Boston University (BU) he topped the seven foot mark at the Millrose Games at New York's Madison Square Garden and and in 1960 set the outdoor world record at 7' 3.75" making him the Gold Medal favorite for the upcoming Olympics. In Rome Thomas ended up having to settle for the Bronze Medal as he finished third behind two Russians, one of whom, Valery Brumel (deceased 2003), was to become his lifelong friend. He continued competing, graduated from BU in 1963, and entered the 1964 Tokyo Olympiad again the favorite, though he was only to capture Silver, once more finishing behind Brumel. Injured in an October 1965 motorcycle wreck, he never regained competitive form and was forced to retire having topped seven feet 191 times, taken two NCAA titles, and won the AAU crown seven times. Remaining in the Boston area he engaged in business for a time, served as athletic director and coach at Roxbury Community College, and was inducted into the USA Track and Field Hall of Fame in 1985. Thomas died of complications from heart surgery. (bio by: Bob Hufford)
Cremated, Ashes given to family or friend.
Specifically: Cremation done following Mr. Thomas' funeral.
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Originally Created by: Bob Hufford
Record added: Jan 25, 2013
Find A Grave Memorial# 104128392
Do you have a photo to add? Click here