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Sports / Recreation

Do you know about - former athlete Glenn Morris?

February 6, 2009

Glenn Morris was born on Jun. 18, 1912, in tiny Simla, Colo. He graduated from Simla High School where he excelled in all sports, especially football and track and field.

Glenn MorrisColorado A&M

Morris attended Colorado A&M where he graduated with a degree in Economics and Sociology. He was a well-known student leader on campus as well as a stand-out football player (he played in the east-west game in 1934) and an All-American track and field star. 

In 1936, he won the decathlon gold medal in Berlin, Germany setting Olympic and world records in the event. It was reported that Hitler never left his seat in the stadium while Morris was on the playing field. It was further reported that Glenn was offered $50,000 to stay in Germany and make sports movies. He declined.

"World's Greatest Athlete"

Morris was crowned the "World's Greatest Athlete" and returned home a national hero, New York City honored him, Jesse Owens, and the other Olympians with a ticker tape parade. Governor Ed Johnson declared Sept. 4, 1936 as Glenn Morris day throughout the state of Colorado. He won the Sullivan Award in 1936 as the nation's top amateur athlete. He is a member of the Colorado Hall of Fame and the Colorado State University Hall of Fame. Glenn Morris remains one of the greatest athletes in the history of Colorado State University and the entire state of Colorado.

After his Olympic career ended, the handsome Morris appeared in the movies first as Tarzan in "Tarzan's Revenge" and then in a film titled "Hold That Coed."

After that short stint in films, he played one year of professional football with the Detroit Lions.

WWII veteran

At the onset of World War II, he enlisted in the Navy and eventually received a commission. He served at numerous duty stations throughout the Pacific area before he was wounded in action and returned to the U.S.

After WWII, Morris held numerous jobs before eventually retiring in 1962 to live in Menlo Park, Calif. Following a long illness, he died on Feb. 1, 1974, at the Veterans Administration hospital in Palo Alto, California.

The signs proclaiming Simla as the "Home of Glenn Morris, World's Greatest Athlete" are still standing. A display case at his high school on the wind-swept plains of eastern Colorado and plaques on the walls of the Colorado and Colorado State University Halls of Fame are other reminders that the state of Colorado and our University nurtured one of this country's storied Olympic champions.

Varsity Athletes Club

Contact: Varsity Athletes Club
Phone: (970) 491-4666