Margaret Abbott

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Margaret Ives Abbott
Personal information
Nickname(s) Marda
Born (1878-06-15)June 15, 1878
Calcutta, India
Died June 10, 1955(1955-06-10) (aged 76)
Greenwich, Connecticut, United States[1]
Occupation Golfer, housewife
Years active 1897–1955
Spouse(s) Finley Peter Dunne (m. 1902)
Country United States
Sport Women's Golf
Club Chicago Golf Club
Achievements and titles
Olympic finals 1900 Summer Olympics

Margaret Ives Abbott (June 15, 1878 – June 10, 1955) was the first American woman to win an Olympic event. She won the women's golf tournament, consisting of nine holes, with a score of 47, at the 1900 Paris Games. Abbott won a porcelain bowl for first place in golf.[2] (The 1900 Games were the only Olympics at which winners received valuable artifacts instead of medals.[3])

The 1900 Games, the first in which women were allowed to compete,[4] included 11 female athletes competing in the "ladylike" sports of golf, tennis and yachting.[5] However, these games were so poorly organized and publicized that many competitors, including Abbott, did not realize that the events they entered were part of the Olympics. Historical research did not establish that the game was on the Olympic program until after Abbott's death, so she herself never knew it.[6][unreliable source?]

Abbott, who was born in Calcutta in 1878, was living in Chicago at the time, but had traveled to Paris to study art under Edgar Degas and Auguste Rodin. Her mother, Mary Abbott, a novelist and book reviewer for the Chicago Tribune, also competed in the event, finishing tied for seventh place, making it the only Olympic event in which a mother and daughter competed at the same time.[4][7]

Abbott married the writer Finley Peter Dunne in 1902.


  1. ^ Bierstedt, Rainald (2012). Abschlag Rio: Jugend Trainiert Golf Für Olympia (in German) (3rd ed.). BoD – Books on Demand. p. 69. ISBN 3848209705. 
  2. ^ Anderson, Kristine F. (July 11, 1996). "While Reaching for the Gold, Women Shattered Stereotypes". Christian Science Monitor. 88 (158): 10. 
  3. ^ Roessing, Walt (July–August 1988). "Looking Back: The Oddball Olympics: Curious Individual and Team Events Have Been a Part of the Summer Games)". Saturday Evening Post (5): 48. 
  4. ^ a b Lester, John (July 9, 1996). "Recognizing First U.S. Women's Champion is a Step in the Right Direction". 
  5. ^ Leder, Jane (May–June 1996). "Proving our Olympic mettle". Women's Sports & Fitness. 18 (4): 72. 
  6. ^ Hickok, Ralph (2004). "Abbott, Margaret I., Golf". HickokSports. Archived from the original on March 22, 2006. 
  7. ^ Holmes, Tao Tao (August 10, 2016). "The First American Woman to Win an Olympic Championship Didn't Even Know It". Atlas Obscura. Retrieved August 21, 2016. 

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