Full name: John Onins Exley, Jr.
Born: May 23, 1867 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
Died: July 27, 1938 in Milford, Delaware, United States
Affiliations: Vesper Boat Club, Philadelphia (USA)
Country: United States
Medals: 2 Gold (2 Total)
John Exley was born in Philadelphia but grew up on the prairie and formed his own cattle buying company. Working with livestock developed his physique and, after moving back to Philadelphia, a local coach spotted him one day, noting his massive arms and vascularity. Exley took up rowing on the coach’s advice and became known as "The Iron Man" of rowing in Philadelphia. He was the stroke-oar on both of the Vesper Boat Club’s championship eights in 1900 and 1904, in addition to winning several other major titles, including national championships in 1897-99 with the Philadelphia Barge Club. His 1900 gold medal was unusual in that he was shot in the arm in May 1900, reportedly by a "highwayman," but he recovered to row for Vesper at the Paris Olympics two months later. He continued rowing until 1912, at which time he took up coaching as a hobby, all the while running a farm and building supply company at the present site of the Philadelphia airport.
|1900 Summer||32||Paris||Rowing||Men's Coxed Eights||Vesper Boat Club||USA||1||Gold|
|1904 Summer||37||St. Louis||Rowing||Men's Coxed Eights||Vesper Boat Club||USA||1||Gold|
|1900 Summer||32||Paris||Rowing||Vesper Boat Club||USA||Final||6:07.8|
|1900 Summer||32||Paris||Rowing||Vesper Boat Club||USA||Semi-Finals||Heat Two||5:15.4|
|1904 Summer||37||St. Louis||Rowing||Vesper Boat Club||USA||Final Standings||7:50.0|