Walker Smith (hurdler)

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Walker Smith
Personal information
National team United States
Born (1896-11-01)November 1, 1896
Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States
Died February 27, 1993(1993-02-27) (aged 96)
Orange County, California, United States
Alma mater Cornell University
Height 5 ft 10.5 in (179 cm)
Weight 172 lb (78 kg)

Walker Breeze Smith (November 1, 1896 – February 27, 1993) was an American track and field athlete. Smith attended Cornell University, where he set records in hurdling.[1] He was the IC4A Champion in 1919 in 120 yard high hurdles and 220 yard low hurdles. The year before he placed second in both events.[2]

Smith competed in the men's 110 metres hurdles at the 1920 Summer Olympics. He finished in 5th place.[3]

In 1978, Smith was inducted into the Cornell University Hall of Fame.[4]

Personal Life[edit]

Smith is named after his maternal grandfather, lumber and art magnate T. B. Walker.[3]

When Smith was 10 years old, he had his right eye removed, and wore an artificial eye.[3] He was not allowed to play football because of the missing eye, so he took up track & field.[3] As a child, he attended Phillips Exeter Academy.[3] During World War I in 1916, Smith went to France to serve in the American Field Service.[3] Due to his missing eye, he was designated with a 4-F classification and unable to serve in the US army, so he returned to the United States in 1917.[3]

Smith married Marge Billheimer in 1922. Together they have two children, a son and a daughter. They have eight grandchildren as well as eight great-grandchildren.[5]

After retiring from athletics and worked in various jobs, including real estate and investment companies.[3]


  1. ^ The Cornell Alumni News. 1919. pp. 312–. 
  2. ^ "Sports Reference - Olympics Walker Smith". Sports Reference LLC. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h Hodak, George A. (1988). "AN OLYMPIAN'S ORAL HISTORY: WALKER SMITH 1920 OLYMPIC GAMES TRACK & FIELD" (PDF). 
  4. ^ "Cornell Hall of Fame: Walker Smith Class of 1920". 
  5. ^ "News of Alumni". Cornell Alumni News. Vol. 91 no. 4. November 1988. p. 43.