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Clifford Furnas

Full name: Clifford Cook Furnas
Gender: Male
Height: 5-10 (178 cm)
Weight: 146 lbs (66 kg)
Born: October 24, 1900 in Sheridan, Indiana, United States
Died: April 27, 1969 in Amsterdam, Noord-Holland, Netherlands
Affiliations: Purdue Boilermakers, West Lafayette, Indiana (USA)
Country: USA United States
Sport: Athletics


Cliff Furnas graduated from Purdue in 1922 where he had been an honor student and star on the track team. As a runner, he finished second in the 1920 5K Olympic Trial to make the Olympic Team. After graduation, he taught school briefly and then earned a PhD in chemical engineering in 1926 from the University of Michigan. From 1926-31 he worked as a physical chemist with the US Bureau of Mines in Minneapolis and then became a professor at Yale. In 1941, at a meeting of the American Chemical Society, he caused a stir when he presciently recommended developing ways to create power from the sun's rays – solar power – and also noted that the necessary research should be done well in advance of concerns about petroleum depletion. He later worked for Curtiss-Wright Corporation and in 1955 was named chancellor at the University of Buffalo. After one year there, Furnas was named Assistant Secretary of Defense for Research and Development, taking a leave of absence from the university. Returning to the University of Buffalo in 1957, he was later named President and served in that capacity until his retirement in 1965.

Personal Bests: 2 miles – 9:33.0 (1920); 5000 – 15:23.8 (1920).


Games Age City Sport Event Team NOC Rank Medal
1920 Summer 19 Antwerpen Athletics Men's 5,000 metres United States USA AC

Men's 5,000 metres

Games Age City Sport Country Phase Unit Rank T
1920 Summer 19 Antwerpen Athletics United States Final AC DNF
1920 Summer 19 Antwerpen Athletics United States Round One Heat One 4 QU 15:23.8
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