Ken Carpenter (athlete)

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Ken Carpenter
Ken Carpenter 1936.jpg
Carpenter in 1936
Personal information
BornApril 19, 1913
Compton, California, U.S.
DiedMarch 15, 1984 (aged 70)
Buena Park, California, U.S.
Alma materUniversity of Southern California
Height190 cm (6 ft 3 in)
Weight102 kg (225 lb)
Event(s)Discus throw
ClubUSC Trojans, Los Angeles
Achievements and titles
Personal best(s)53.08 m (1936)[1][2]
Medal record

William Kenneth Carpenter (April 19, 1913 – March 15, 1984) was an American discus thrower. He won the NCAA and AAU titles in 1935 and 1936, becoming the first two-time NCAA champion in a weight throw event from the University of Southern California (USC). In 1936 Carpenter won an Olympic gold medal,[1] and between 1936 and 1940 held the American record in the discus.[3]

Carpenter graduated from Compton High School, where he was a track and field star. After attending USC, he went on to serve in the United States Navy, and then began a 33-year-long career as a coach and teacher at the College of the Sequoias and Compton Community College. In 2003 he was inducted into the USC Athletic Hall of Fame.[3]

Carpenter appears in Leni Riefenstahl's film Olympia about the 1936 Olympic Games. He is also mentioned by Viktor Chemmel, a character in Markus Zusak's 2006 bestselling novel The Book Thief.


  1. ^ a b Ken Carpenter.
  2. ^ Kenneth Carpenter.
  3. ^ a b 2003 Inductees For USC Athletic Hall Of Fame Announced. (October 19, 2002)

External links[edit]

Media related to Ken Carpenter (athlete) at Wikimedia Commons