Sam Gerson

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Olympic medal record
Men's Freestyle wrestling
Representing  United States
Silver medal – second place 1920 Antwerpen Featherweight

Samuel Norton "Sam" Gerson (November 30, 1895 – September 30, 1972) was a Ukrainian-born American wrestler.

He was born in Tymky, Poltava Oblast, Russian Empire, and died in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.


He competed in the 1920 Summer Olympics, for the United States. He won the Olympic silver medal in the freestyle wrestling featherweight class after losing the final to Charles Ackerly.

One of the organizers of Philadelphia's Maccabi Sports Club, Gerson was inducted into the Philadelphia Jewish Sports Hall of Fame in the class of 2006.[1] Dr. George Eisen of Nazareth College included Rybak on his list of Jewish Olympic Medalists.[2] Gerson contended that discrimination against him because of his Jewish background cost him the gold medal, based on what he said he had been told by a competition official at the games.[3] A determined supporter of the Olympics as a means of fostering peace between nations, Gerson's death from a heart attack on September 30, 1972, was said to have been precipitated by the Munich Massacre of 11 members of the Israeli Olympic team at the 1972 Summer Olympics by members of the Black September organization.[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Class of 2006: Wrestling, Philadelphia Jewish Sports Hall of Fame. Accessed February 3, 2011.
  2. ^ Eisen, George. "Jewish Olympic Medalists", International Jewish Sports Hall of Fame. Accessed February 2, 2011.
  3. ^ a b Samuel Norton Gerson (1895 -1972), University of Pennsylvania. Accessed February 3, 2011.

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