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Donald Spero

Full name: Donald M. Spero
Gender: Male
Height: 6-2 (188 cm)
Weight: 190 lbs (86 kg)
Born: August 9, 1939 in Chicago, Illinois, United States
Affiliations: NYAC, New York (USA)
Country: USA United States
Sport: Rowing


Donald Spero attended Cornell University, where he earned a degree in engineering physics, and then received a PhD in physics from Columbia University. As a rower he represented the New York Athletic Club, first competing internationally in 1961 at the Maccabiah Games, where he won a gold medal in coxed fours. Spero was US single sculls champion in 1963-64 and 1966 and won the double sculls in 1963, won the association single sculls in 1963 and the quarter-mile sprint singles in 1965. He twice won the Diamond Singles Sculls at Henley Royal Regatta, in 1963 and 1965. In 1964 he won a bronze medal at the European Championships, but his biggest win came in 1966 when he won the World Championship in the singles.

Spero’s business career was equally as illustrious. After his graduate work, he did post-graduate research in physics at the University of Maryland, which led to the development of high intensity microwave lamps. This became the core technology for Fusion Systems, a company he founded, and for which he served as President and CEO. The company was acquired and Spero then served as director of the Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship at the University of Maryland. In 1992 he founded Spero Quality Strategies (SQS), a venture capital fund. In 2003 Spero co-founded New Markets Venture Partners, a venture capital firm. He has served on the boards of numerous companies.

Spero was a founder of the National Rowing Foundation in 1966, and was one of its directors from 1967-84. He was elected to the Helms Rowing Hall of Fame in 1966, the Cornell University Hall of Fame in 1984, the New York Athletic Club Hall of Fame in 1986, and the International Jewish Sports Hall of Fame in 1993.


Games Age City Sport Event Team NOC Rank Medal
1964 Summer 25 Tokyo Rowing Men's Single Sculls United States USA 6

Men's Single Sculls

Games Age City Sport Team NOC Phase Unit T
1964 Summer 25 Tokyo Rowing United States USA Final Round A Final 8:37.53
1964 Summer 25 Tokyo Rowing United States USA Round One Heat Two 7:41.94
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