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CARR, Sabin

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CARR, Sabin. (Dubuque, IA, Sept. 4, 1904--Santa Barbara, CA, Sept. 12, 1983). Sabin William Carr, the first Dubuque native to win a gold medal and the first man to vault higher than fourteen feet, competed in the men's pole vault at the 1928 Summer Olympics in Amsterdam, Holland. (1)

In high school, Sabin was sent to the nationally recognized Hill School in Pottstown, Pennsylvania. He was a well-known sprinter and won a number of races in the Prep School circuit. After an injury, he began to practice other field and track events including the javelin, discus and pole vault. Sabin liked the pole vault because it combined both his sprinting and gymnastics talent. After graduating from the Hill School, Sabin attended Yale University where he continued to excel at pole vaulting. (2)

In 1927, Carr set new indoor and outdoor world records. In February he took the indoor record up to 13-7⅛, which he improved one week later to 13-9¼. (3) On February 26, 1928, at the AAU indoor, he vaulted 14-1 inch to become the first to clear 14 feet indoors. (4)

In 1928, Carr lost his world outdoor record to the 1924 Olympic champion, Lee Barnes. At the Olympics, however, Carr took the gold medal, with Barnes finishing fifth. Carr, a Yale graduate, had a fine record in major championships winning the AAU indoor twice, the IC4A outdoor three times, and the IC4A indoor twice. He never placed better than third at the AAU outdoor meet.

After the Olympics, Sabin Carr became the Secretary-Treasurer (the equivalent of the CFO today) of Associated Features, the motion picture company that produced “Harlem on the Prairie” in 1937, which is recognized as the first “all-colored” western musical movie. The movie, on which he was listed as associate producer, premiered at the Paramount Theater in Hollywood, and was first shown at the Rialto Theater on Broadway in New York City. (5)

In later years, Sabin Carr became the president of his family’s California business, the Sterling Lumber Company, which later became Wholesale Building Supply. He remained president until his retirement. (6)



1. "Sabin Carr--1928 Olympic Pole Vault Gold Medal Winner," Daily Two Cents. Online: http://dailytwocents.com/sabin-carr-1928-olympic-pole-vault-gold-medal-winner/

2. Ibid.

3. "Pole Vaulting Classic--Sabin Carr," Vaulter Magazine, August 19, 2012, Online: http://vaultermagazine.com/tag/sabin-carr/

4. "Sabin Carr Breaks World Poe Vault Record," Chicago Tribune, February 26, 1928. Online: http://archives.chicagotribune.com/1928/02/26/page/27/article/sabin-carr-breaks-world-pole-vault-record

5. "Sabin Carr-IMDb" Online: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm4892871/

6. Ibid.