Two-time Olympic medalist and former USC track and field great Jack Davis passed away on July 20 at Mercy Hospital in San Diego. He was 81.
Davis was a two-time silver medalist at the Olympics in the 100-meter high hurdles, placing second at the 1952 Helsinki Games and at the 1956 Melbourne Games. He was world-ranked in the hurdles six times, owned the world record three times and was undefeated in the 110 meter- and 120-yard hurdles during the 1953 and 1954 seasons. Davis was honored with an induction into the USA Track & Field Hall of Fame in 2004.
Davis lettered at USC from 1951 to 1953 and was a three-time NCAA champion in the 120-yard hurdles (1951-53) and also won the 220-yard hurdles in 1953. The USC track and field teams won the NCAA championship each of those seasons, including 1953 when he was co-captain.
Davis served as the USC Homecoming chairman in 1983 and was elected into the USC Athletic Hall of Fame in 2001.
After graduating from USC, Davis served in the U.S. Navy from 1954 to 1957. As a representative of the U.S. Information Agency, he traveled to countries in South America and Africa, competing in races and hosting sporting exhibitions.
Following his decorated athletic career, Davis enjoyed success as a real estate developer. He also was one of the founding members of the United States Olympic Training Center in San Diego, the first training center dedicated to the development and performance of America’s future Olympic and Paralympic athletes.
Davis was born in Amarillo, Texas, and attended Hoover High in Glendale, Calif.
In lieu of flowers, the family has requested that donations be made in Davis’ memory for athletic scholarships in the name of Jack Davis and sent to: Ron Orr, USC Heritage Hall, 3501 Watt Way, Los Angeles, Calif. 90089-0602.