February 12, 1921|
The Bronx, United States
|Died||February 24, 2004
The Bronx, United States
Albert Axelrod, known as Albie, (February 12, 1921, in The Bronx, New York – February 24, 2004, of a heart attack in The Bronx), was an American foil fencer. He is America’s most enduring fencing champion.
Axelrod is Jewish, the son of Russian Jewish immigrants who had fled the pogroms, grew up in the Bronx. A micro-heart murmur kept Axelrod from participating in most sports, so his mother encouraged him to learn fencing at Stuyvesant High School in New York. After graduation in 1938, he studied at the Salle Santelli under the 1920 Olympic champion, Giorgio Santelli, and won amateur titles as a member of the Salle Santelli club.
US Championships & # 1 US ranking
Axelrod was ranked # 1 in the United States in 1955, 1958, 1960, and 1970, and # 2 nine times.
Axelrod was ranked in the U.S. Top 10 for 22 years, 1942–70, missing three of those years in military service.
Five times his team won the National Foil Team Championship (1940, 1950, 1952, 1954, and 1958), and 5 times his team captured the National Three-Weapon team crown (1949, 1952, 1954, 1962, and 1963).
He was also a member of 4 United States World Championship teams — best finish 5th in 1958.
Axelrod was a member of 5 consecutive U.S. Olympic Teams (1952–68). His bronze medal in Individual Foil competition at the 1960 Summer Olympics was only the 4th Olympic fencing medal ever won by an American.
Pan American Games
He was also a member of 4 U.S. Pan American Games teams, winning 3 team gold medals (in '51(?), '59, and '63), and 2 silver medals (in '55 and '67), and 4 silver medals in Individual Foil (in '55, '59, '63, and '67).
Approach to Fencing
Axelrod had an aggressive, straight-ahead attacking style. As Axelrod told The New York Times in 1966, "I have no purely defensive moves." It was his credo. Opponents had to contend not only with a never-give-up mentality, but a technique that had little relation to the classical schools.
“Everyone attributes my skill to a physical freak, saying that I have tremendously fast reflexes,” he once said. “But I am not a natural athlete. When it comes to fencing, I’m completely synthetic. I’ve had to practise arduously and break down into tiny components every move I make.”
Axelrod was the Editor of "American Fencing" magazine (1986–90).
Hall of Fame inductions
- "Olympics Statistics: Albert Axelrod". databaseolympics.com. Retrieved September 26, 2010.
- "Saying Goodbye – Remembering those in the sports world who died in 2004". Sports Illustrated. December 30, 2004. Retrieved November 2, 2007.
- "ALBERT AXELROD". Archived from the original on 10 October 2007. Retrieved November 2, 2007.
- Paul Taylor. Jews and the Olympic Games: the .... Retrieved October 15, 2011.
- "Fencing Forum".
- Martin, Douglas (March 5, 2004). "Albert Axelrod, 83, a Champion in Fencing". New York Times. Retrieved November 2, 2007.
- "Albie Axelrod Biography and Olympic Results | Olympics at". Sports-reference.com. Retrieved May 23, 2010.
- "Fencing on Fairfield".[dead link]
- "Albert Axelrod Olympic Results". sports-reference.com. Retrieved September 26, 2010.
- Cohen, Richard (March 9, 2004). "Obituary: Albert Axelrod". The Independent (London).[dead link]
- "ELECTED MEMBERS". Archived from the original on 26 September 2007. Retrieved November 2, 2007.