Paul Jessup (athlete)

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Paul Jessup
Paul Jessup 1930.jpg
Jessup in 1930
Personal information
Born September 23, 1908
Bellingham, Washington, U.S.[1]
Died October 27, 1992 (aged 84)
Palm Beach, Florida, U.S.
Height 198 cm (6 ft 6 in)
Weight 97 kg (214 lb)
Sport Athletics
Event(s) Shot put, discus throw
Club WAC, Seattle
Achievements and titles
Personal best(s) SP – 15.44 m (1930)
DT – 51.73 m (1930)[1][2]

Paul Boulet Jessup (September 23, 1908 – October 27, 1992) was an American discus thrower and shot putter. He set a discus world record in 1930 and was a leading favorite for the 1932 Summer Olympics, but only placed eighth in the Olympic final.[1]


Competing for the University of Washington Huskies, Jessup placed fourth at the 1929 NCAA Championships in both the shot and the discus.[1] He was also the captain of the Washington football team, playing offensive tackle and defensive center.[3][4] Jessup improved further in 1930, setting his personal bests that year.[1] In an early dual meet against Stanford University, he threw the discus 48.23 meters (158 ft ​2 78 in) and was only narrowly beaten by Stanford's world record holder Eric Krenz.[5] At the 1930 NCAA Championships Jessup went one better by surprisingly beating Krenz;[6] nevertheless, Krenz was selected by coaches as top All-American ahead of Jessup.[7]

Jessup won his first national championship in the discus in August 1930, beating Krenz's world record in the process with a throw of 51.73 meters (169 ft ​7 78 in).[2][1][8][9] This record lasted until 1934, when it was beaten by Sweden's Harald Andersson.[10] Jessup repeated as national champion in 1931.[1][9]

Jessup showed consistent form in early 1932[11] and was considered the leading favorite for the Summer Olympics in Los Angeles,[3][11][12] as his main rival, Krenz, had drowned in a boating accident in August 1931.[12][13][14] However, 1928 Olympian John Anderson displaced him as the national leader at the Eastern Tryouts.[15] At the final Olympic Trials Jessup placed second, behind Anderson.[15][16] Anderson went on to win the gold medal at the Olympics, while Jessup had an off day, only managing 8th with a throw of 45.25 m (148 ft 4 in).[1][15]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Paul Jessup.
  2. ^ a b Paul Jessup.
  3. ^ a b "See Paul Jessup as Weight Star". Spokane Daily Chronicle. April 13, 1932. Retrieved May 5, 2013. 
  4. ^ "Giant Bed Offered As Football Prize". Lewiston Evening Journal. November 23, 1929. 
  5. ^ "Cards Swamp Huskies In Track Meet, 93–35". Berkeley Daily Gazette. April 28, 1930. Retrieved May 5, 2013. 
  6. ^ "Jessup Beat Krenz". Milwaukee Sentinel. June 9, 1930. Retrieved May 5, 2013. 
  7. ^ Rockne, Knute (June 22, 1930). "All-America Track, Field Team Named". Milwaukee Sentinel. Retrieved May 5, 2013. 
  8. ^ Clark, Al (August 24, 1930). "Paul Jessup Hangs Up World Mark in Discus Heave". The Pittsburgh Press. Retrieved May 5, 2013. 
  9. ^ a b Mallon, Bill; Buchanan, Ian; Track & Field News. "A History Of The Results Of The National Track & Field Championships Of The USA From 1876 Through 2011". Track & Field News. Retrieved May 5, 2013. 
  10. ^ Butler, Mark; IAAF Media & Public Relations Department (2011), IAAF Statistics Handbook Daegu 2011, International Association of Athletics Federations 
  11. ^ a b "If Jessup Breaks Both Arms He May Not Win The Discus". Spokane Daily Chronicle. June 10, 1932. Retrieved May 5, 2013. 
  12. ^ a b Gould, Alan (Associated Press) (June 17, 1932). "Sifting Olympic Hopes". The Gettysburg Times. Retrieved May 5, 2013. 
  13. ^ "Eric Krenz, Star Weight Man Drowns". The Pittsburgh Press. August 19, 1931. Retrieved May 5, 2013. 
  14. ^ "Discus Champion Drowning Victim". Spokane Daily Chronicle. August 20, 1931. Retrieved May 5, 2013. 
  15. ^ a b c Hymans, Richard. "The History of the United States Olympic Trials – Track & Field" (PDF). USA Track & Field; Track & Field News. Retrieved May 5, 2013. 
  16. ^ "Three Berkeley Athletes Make Olympic Squad". Berkeley Daily Gazette. July 18, 1932. Retrieved May 5, 2013. 
Preceded by
United States Eric Krenz
Men's Discus World Record Holder
August 23, 1930 – August 25, 1934
Succeeded by
Sweden Harald Andersson