February 12, 1921|
The Bronx, United States
|Died||February 24, 2004
The Bronx, United States
He was a five-time Olympian for the US, won a bronze medal at the 1960 Olympics, and was the only American men's foil fencer to reach the finals at the world championships until Gerek Meinhardt won a bronze medal in the 2010 World Fencing Championships.
Axelrod was Jewish, the son of Russian Jewish immigrants who had fled the pogroms, grew up in the Bronx. A heart murmur kept Axelrod from participating in most sports, so his mother encouraged him to learn fencing at Stuyvesant High School in New York City. After graduation in 1938, he studied with 1920 Olympic champion Giorgio Santelli and won amateur titles as a member of the Salle Santelli club.
Axelrod served in the US Navy in World War II, and then attended the City College of New York. His college team reached the National Team Foil Championships in 1948, the same year he was U.S. Intercollegiate Fencing Association and NCAA Champion.
US Championships and rankings
Axelrod was ranked # 1 in the United States in 1955, 1958, 1960, and 1970. He was in the top ten 22 times in the years 1942 to 1970. He was a five-time winner of the National Foil Team Championship (1940, 1950, 1952, 1954, and 1958), and his team won the National Three-Weapon team crown five times (1949, 1952, 1954, 1962, and 1963).
He was a member of the United States World Championship team four times. His best placing was fifth, in 1958.
Pan American Games
Approach to fencing
"I have no purely defensive moves", Axelrod told The New York Times in 1966. "Everyone attributes my skill to the fact that I'm a physical freak, that I have tremendously fast reflexes. I'm not a natural athlete. When it comes to fencing, I'm completely synthetic. I had to practice 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. Archived from the original on February 23, 2012. 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 March 31, 2014.
- Martin, Douglas (March 5, 2004). "Albert Axelrod, 83, a Champion in Fencing". New York Times. Retrieved March 31, 2014.
- Taylor, Paul (2004). Jews and the Olympic Games: The Clash Between Sport and Politics: With a Complete Review of Jewish Olympic Medallists. Sussex Academic Press. ISBN 9781903900871. Retrieved October 15, 2011.
- "Fencing Forum".
- "Albert Axelrod Olympic Results". sports-reference.com. Retrieved September 26, 2010.
- "Elected Members". Archived from the original on 26 September 2007. Retrieved November 2, 2007.
- Shaw, Andy. "Axelrod, Albert". US Fencing Hall of Fame. Archived from the original on December 9, 2013. Retrieved March 31, 2014.