Greater Washington
Jewish Sports Hall of Fame

SAM STOLLER

SAM STOLLER

Sport: Track and Field
Category: Athlete
Primary Team: University of Michigan
Year Inducted: 2016

Sam Stoller was a sprinter and long jumper. In 1936, he tied the then world record in the 60-yard dash. He is best known for his exclusion from the American 4 x 100 relay team at the 1936 Summer Olympic Games in Berlin. The exclusion of Stoller, together with Marty Glickman, the only other Jewish member of U.S. track team, triggered widespread speculation that U.S. Olympic Committee Chairman, Avery Brundage, wanted to avoid embarrassing Adolf Hitler by having two Jewish athletes win gold medals.

Sam did not believe antisemitism was involved, but the 21-year-old described the incident in his diary as the “most humiliating episode” in his life. At the time, Sam vowed that he would never run again, but returned in 1937 to win both the Big Ten Conference and NCAA championships in the 100-yard dash. At the end of the 1937 season, Stoller was chosen as an All-American.

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