Albert Axelrod

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Albert Axelrod
Personal information
Born(1921-02-12)February 12, 1921
The Bronx, United States
DiedFebruary 24, 2004(2004-02-24) (aged 83)
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),[2] was an American foil fencer.[3]

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.[4]

Fencing career[edit]

High school[edit]

Axelrod was Jewish,[5] the son of Russian Jewish immigrants who had fled the pogroms, grew up in the Bronx.[6] 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.[4] After graduation in 1938, he studied with 1920 Olympic champion Giorgio Santelli and won amateur titles as a member of the Salle Santelli club.[7]


Axelrod served in the US Navy in World War II, and then attended the City College of New York.[4] His college team reached the National Team Foil Championships in 1948, the same year he was U.S. Intercollegiate Fencing Association and NCAA Champion.[3]

US Championships and rankings[edit]

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).[3]

World Championships[edit]

He was a member of the United States World Championship team four times. His best placing was fifth, in 1958.[3]


Axelrod was on five U.S. Olympic Teams (1952–68).[7] He won the bronze medal in Individual Foil competition at the 1960 Summer Olympics.[3]

Pan American Games[edit]

He was also a member of four U.S. Pan American Games teams. He won three team gold medals, one team silver, and four individual silvers in Foil.[3]

Maccabiah Games[edit]

Axelrod, who was Jewish, won many gold and silver medals in his six appearances at the World Maccabiah Games.[3]

Approach to fencing[edit]

"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.[4]


Axelrod was the Editor of "American Fencing" magazine (1986–90).[6]

Hall of Fame inductions[edit]

Axelrod was inducted into the International Jewish Sports Hall of Fame in 1973.[8]

He was inducted into the USFA Hall of Fame in 1974.[9]


Axelrod worked as an electrical engineer for the Grumman Corporation.[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Olympics Statistics: Albert Axelrod". Archived from the original on February 23, 2012. Retrieved September 26, 2010.
  2. ^ "Saying Goodbye – Remembering those in the sports world who died in 2004". Sports Illustrated. December 30, 2004. Retrieved November 2, 2007.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g "Albert Axelrod". Archived from the original on 10 October 2007. Retrieved March 31, 2014.
  4. ^ a b c d e Martin, Douglas (March 5, 2004). "Albert Axelrod, 83, a Champion in Fencing". New York Times. Retrieved March 31, 2014.
  5. ^ 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.
  6. ^ a b "Fencing Forum".
  7. ^ a b "Albert Axelrod Olympic Results". Retrieved September 26, 2010.
  8. ^ "Elected Members". Archived from the original on 26 September 2007. Retrieved November 2, 2007.
  9. ^ Shaw, Andy. "Axelrod, Albert". US Fencing Hall of Fame. Archived from the original on December 9, 2013. Retrieved March 31, 2014.

External links[edit]