Joe Rantz

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Joe Rantz
Medal record
Men's rowing
Representing the  United States
Olympic Games
Gold medal – first place 1936 Berlin Eight

Joseph Harry "Joe" Rantz (March 31, 1914 – September 10, 2007) was an American rower who competed in the 1936 Summer Olympics.[1]

Born in Spokane, Washington, Rantz rowed for the University of Washington during the Great Depression.

In 1936 he won the gold medal as member of the American boat in the eights competition.[2] Rantz earned a chemical engineering degree from the University and worked for Boeing following his retirement from rowing.

Rantz is the central character in the non-fiction book The Boys in the Boat, which inspired the PBS documentary American Experience: The Boys of '36. Both chronicle his struggles through life in his early years, culminating with his gold medal in Berlin in 1936.[3]

He died of congestive heart failure in Redmond, Washington, at age 93.[1][3]


  1. ^ a b Smith, Craig (September 12, 2007). "Undefeated UW rowers Rantz earned gold". The Seattle Times. 
  2. ^ a b Brown, Daniel James (2013). The Boys In The Boat, Viking / Penguin Group, New York. ISBN 978-0-670-02581-7.

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