Murdock, Margaret (1942—)

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Murdock, Margaret (1942—)

American Olympic shooting champion. Born on August 25, 1942; attended nursing school; children: at least one.

Margaret Murdock was the first female member of a U.S. Olympic shooting team and the first woman to win a medal in an Olympic shooting competition. She won the silver medal in the small-bore rifle competition of the 1976 Olympics in Montreal at the age of 33. Although initially she was listed on the scoreboard as the winner by one point over American competitor Lanny Bassham, a clerical error and Olympic tie-breaking rules eventually determined that Bassham was the winner of the gold medal—by one point. Feeling Murdock's performance had equaled his, Bassham insisted that she share with him the highest step on the victory platform while the national anthem was played.

Murdock set many individual and team records in her sport and won 14 World team championships, 7 individual world championships, and 5 Pan American gold medals. She is the only woman ever ranked in the world's top ten shooters list of the International Shooting Union.


Grace and Glory: A Century of Women in the Olympics. Washington, DC: MultiMedia Partners, 1996.

Greenspan, Bud. 100 Greatest Moments in Olympic History. LA, California: General Publishing Group, 1995.

Ellen Dennis French , freelance writer, Murrieta, California