John B. Kelly, Jr.

John B. Kelly, Jr.

Olympic Medalist In Rowing
Born May 24, 1927

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1927 Birth Born on May 24, 1927.


He was also the son of triple Olympic gold medal winner John B. Kelly, Sr. In 1947, Kelly was awarded the James E. Sullivan Award as the top amateur athlete in the United States. … Read More
1948 21 Years Old At the 1948 Summer Olympics in London, Kelly competed on the same Henley course where he had won the Diamond Challenge Sculls the year before. … Read More
1951 24 Years Old Kelly's first wife was Mary Gray Freeman (now known as Mary Spitzer), the 1951 national women's champion in swimming and a member of the United States swimming team destined for the 1952 Olympics at Helsinki (She appeared on the cover of Life magazine on July 23, 1951).
1952 25 Years Old At the 1952 Summer Olympics in Helsinki, Kelly again won his opening heat. … Read More
1954 27 Years Old They married in 1954 and had six children, including John B. Kelly III, Susan von Medicus, and Elizabeth "Liz" Kelly.
1956 29 Years Old 1 More Event
Kelly's younger sister Grace would go on to become an Academy Award winning film actress who married Rainier III, Prince of Monaco in 1956. … Read More


1960 33 Years Old In 1960, Kelly competed in the double scull at his final Olympics in Rome. … Read More
1964 37 Years Old In 1964, following his retirement from rowing, Kelly acted as manager for the United States Olympic 8-man boat. … Read More


1968 - 1969 2 More Events
1970 43 Years Old Kelly became a passionate advocate for the athletes. He was elected president of the Amateur Athletic Union in 1970 and stirred controversy by arguing that the amateur code had become outmoded thereby helping free the Olympics from sham amateurism. … Read More
1974 47 Years Old In 1974, Kelly headed a group of Philadelphia business men who became owners of the Philadelphia Bell a franchise in the now defunct World Football League. … Read More
1975 48 Years Old 1 More Event
In 1975, Kelly began a well-publicized relationship with 28-year old trans woman Rachel Harlow, after meeting her at the Philadelphia nightclub she owned. … Read More


1980 53 Years Old Kelly and Freeman finally divorced in 1980.
1981 54 Years Old Following his divorce, Kelly married Sandra Worley, a banker, on May 28, 1981.
In 1985, Kelly was elected president of the United States Olympic Committee. … Read More
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