Bud Houser

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Olympic medal record
Men’s athletics
Competitor for the  United States
Gold 1924 Paris Shot put
Gold 1924 Paris Discus throw
Gold 1928 Amsterdam Discus throw
Bud Houser, ca. 1930

Bud Houser (Lemuel Clarence Houser; September 25, 1901 in Winigan, Missouri – October 1, 1994 in Gardena, California) was an American field athlete. He moved to Oxnard, California to escape the drought in Missouri after both his parents died in 1911. He was raised by his sister Martha and her husband Walter Conklin. He gained his strength working in the fields, during summers he would load hay bales in 110 degree heat in Corcoran, California.[1]


As a student of Oxnard High School, Houser participated in the California State Track Meets between 1920-22. His six wins in shot put and discus, each time breaking a state record, made him the most successful meet participant ever.[2] He was named "Athlete of the Meet" three years in a row.[3] During this time he developed a discus-throwing style of doing one and a half rapid turns in the circle before release that has been copied by many later athletes. He then enrolled at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, California.[4]

At the 1924 Summer Olympics in Paris, Houser won the gold medal in the shot put, ahead of fellow Americans Glenn Hartranft and Ralph Hills and in the discus, ahead of the Finn Vilho Niittymaa and the American Thomas Lieb. This was the last time an athlete has won both the shot put and discus in the Olympics.

He won national championships in the discus in 1925, 1926, and 1928, and in the shot put in 1921 (while still in High School) and 1925. On April 3, 1926 in Palo Alto, in a USC dual meet with Stanford, he set a world record with a discus throw of 48.20 m.[5]

At the 1928 Summer Olympics in Amsterdam he was flag bearer for the United States team. There he retained his title in discus-throwing, again leading a Finn Antero Kivi and an American James Corson.

Houser became a dentist to many movie stars with a practice in Hollywood, California before moving to Palm Desert, California.[1] The stadium at Oxnard High School (the original location and now the new location) is named in his honor, the announcement a surprise at his graduation.[1] He is a member of the National Track and Field Hall of Fame[6] and an inaugural member of the Ventura County Athletic Hall of Fame.[7]


External links[edit]

Olympic Games
Preceded by
Pat McDonald
Flagbearer for  United States
Amsterdam 1928
Succeeded by
Morgan Taylor
Preceded by
United States Glenn Hartranft
Men's Discus World Record Holder
April 2, 1926 – March 9, 1929
Succeeded by
United States Eric Krenz