Myers, Lawrence E.

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MYERS, LAWRENCE E. (Lon ; 1858–1899), U.S. track athlete. Born in Richmond, Virginia, Myers began his career as a runner in 1878 and a year later became the first man to better 50 seconds for 440 yards. Between 1879 and 1884, Myers won 15 U.S., ten Canadian, and three British national titles at distances from 100 to 880 yards. He visited Great Britain in 1881, 1884, and 1885, and set the then world marks for 440 yards (48.6 seconds) and 880 yards (1:55.4). In 1881 he became the first foreign runner to win a British national title.

Myers faced his most formidable opponent, Britain's Walter George, for the first time in 1882. George won two of three races at the Polo Grounds in New York City. Racing three years later as a professional, Myers won all three races at New York's Madison Square Garden. After repeating his victory over George in Australia in 1887, Myers retired from track the following year.


B. Postal et al. (eds.), Encyclopedia of Jews in Sports (1965), 475–8.

[Jesse Harold Silver]