Jack van Bebber

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Jack van Bebber
Medal record
Men's wrestling
Competitor for the  United States
Olympic Games
Gold 1932 Los Angeles Freestyle welterweight

Jack Francis "Blackjack" Van Bebber (July 27, 1907 – April 13, 1986) was born and raised in Perry, Oklahoma. He attended and wrestled at Oklahoma A&M University and was a three time NCAA national champion. He was coached by Ed Gallagher. He competed at the 1932 Olympic Games in Los Angeles, where he received a gold medal in freestyle welterweight.[1] He was severely injured in a wagon accident as a child but his attitude and perseverance won out. Before his passing, he was named one of the ten greatest amateur athletes in the Western Hemisphere for the first half of the 20th Century. He also was one of the initial inductees as a Distinguished Member of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame in Stillwater, Okla. The book, A Distant Flame: The Inspiring Story of Jack VanBebber's Quest for a World Olympic Title, tells more about his life.


  1. ^ "1932 Summer Olympics – Los Angeles, United States – Wrestling"databaseOlympics.com (Retrieved on April 28, 2008)