January 9, 1873|
San Francisco, California, United States
|Died||May 23, 1944
Nahant, Massachusetts, United States
At the first day of the first modern Olympic Games, Curtis advanced to the 100 metres final by winning his heat with a time of 12.2 seconds. He later withdrew from that race to prepare for the 110 metres hurdles final, which was his main event at the Olympics. That competition turned into a personal race between Curtis and Grantley Goulding from Great Britain after Frantz Reichel and William Welles Hoyt withdrew. At the start Curtis gained a small lead, but Goulding reached him at the first hurdle. At the last hurdle, Goulding was leading, but Curtis managed to throw himself to the line first. The officials stated that Curtis had won by 5 centimetres. Both athletes had a time of 17.6 seconds.
As an eager amateur photographer, Curtis made many valuable pictures in Athens. He served as captain in the Massachusetts National Guard and was a military aide to Massachusetts Governor Calvin Coolidge in World War I. He also participated in the development of the toaster and published several humorous memories about the first modern Olympic Games. The most famous of them is High Hurdles and White Gloves (1932).