John Davis (weightlifter)
January 12, 1921|
Smithtown, New York, United States
July 13, 1984 (aged 63)|
Albuquerque, New Mexico, United States
|Club||York Barbell Club|
John Henry Davis (January 12, 1921 – July 13, 1984) was an American heavyweight weightlifter. Between 1938 and 1953 he won two Olympic, six world and 12 national titles, and set 16 ratified world records: seven in the snatch, four in the clean and jerk, two in the press and three in the total.
A native of Brooklyn, N.Y., Davis served in the U.S. Army for 3½ years during World War II. For most of his 19-year weightlifting career he represented the York Barbell Club. He worked as an officer in the New York Department of Corrections.
Davis first gained prominence by winning the world light heavyweight crown as a 17-year-old school boy in 1938 at Vienna, Austria. He remained unbeaten until 1953, when he finished second at the world championships due to a thigh injury. At his peak, Davis held all the world records in his class, and at the 1951 national championships he became the first man to break the 400 pound barrier by lifting 402 pounds. He retired in 1956 after a devastating leg injury at the '56 Olympic trials, and died of cancer in 1984, aged 63.