You Are Here > SR/Olympics > Athletes > Glenn Cunningham

Glenn Cunningham

Full name: Glenn Vernice Cunningham
Nickname(s): The Iron Man of Kansas
Gender: Male
Height: 5'10" (178 cm)
Weight: 154 lbs (70 kg)
Born: August 4, 1909 in Atlanta, Kansas, United States
Died: March 10, 1988 in Menifee, Arkansas, United States
Affiliations: New York Curb Exchange Athletic Association
Country: USA United States
Sport: Athletics

Medals: 1 Silver (1 Total)

Biography

Severely injured as a child in a schoolhouse fire, in which his brother perished, Glenn Cunningham developed into a tough and durable competitor and was a force to be reckoned with on the world miling scene for almost a decade. He was a prolific runner and fully justified the nickname, "The Iron Man of Kansas". Cunningham won the NCAA 1,500 m in 1932 and then finished third in the AAU before taking fourth place at the Olympics. In 1933 he won the NCAA mile and the AAU 1,500 m. After losing the 1934 AAU to Bill Bonthron of Princeton, Glenn Cunningham took the title for the next four years (1935-1938). In 1934 he set a world mile record of 4:06.7 and two weeks after finishing second in the 1936 Olympic 1,500 m he set a world record of 1:49.7 for 800 m in Stockholm. Cunningham ran his fastest 1,500 m in 1940 when he clocked 3:48.0 in finishing second to Walter Mehl in the AAU. Cunningham earned degrees from Kansas, Iowa, and NYU. His life's work was a youth ranch which housed needy and abused children.

Personal Best: 1500 – 3:48.2 (1940).

Results

Games Age City Sport Event Team NOC Rank Medal
1932 Summer 22 Los Angeles Athletics Men's 1,500 metres United States USA 4
1936 Summer 26 Berlin Athletics Men's 1,500 metres United States USA 2 Silver

Men's 1,500 metres

Games Age City Sport Country Phase Unit Rank T(H)
1932 Summer 22 Los Angeles Athletics United States Final 4 3:53.4
1932 Summer 22 Los Angeles Athletics United States Round One Heat One 1 QU 3:55.8
1936 Summer 26 Berlin Athletics United States Final 2 3:48.4
1936 Summer 26 Berlin Athletics United States Round One Heat One 1T QU 3:54.8