Art Bragg

Last updated
Arthur "Art" George Bragg
Personal information
Born(1930-12-03)December 3, 1930
Baltimore, Maryland, U.S.
DiedAugust 25, 2018(2018-08-25) (aged 87)
Height1.75 m (5 ft 9 in)
Weight70 kg (154 lb) [1]
Sport Running
Event(s) 100 meters, 200 meters
College teamMorgan State Bears
Achievements and titles
Personal best(s)100 y: 09.4 s (1954) [2]

100 m: 10.3 s (1953)
220 y: 20.8 s (1951)

200 m;21.2 s (1950) [1]
Art Bragg
Medal record
Men's Athletics
Pan American Games
Gold medal icon (G initial).svg 1951 Buenos Aires 4×100 metres
Silver medal icon (S initial).svg 1951 Buenos Aires 100 metres
Silver medal icon (S initial).svg 1951 Buenos Aires 200 metres

Arthur "Art" George Bragg (December 3, 1930 August 25, 2018) [3] was an American sprinter who competed in the 1952 Summer Olympics.



He was born in Baltimore and attended Baltimore's Morgan State College., [4]

In 1952 he was eliminated in the semi-finals of the Olympic 100 metres event. Running with a pulled muscle, he finished 'a miserable last' in his race. [5] Bragg was considered the favourite for the title having won the USA Olympic Trials 100m in the absence, through injury, of the man judged to be the best American sprinter, Jim Golliday. Bragg also tried to qualify for the 200 m event but was only fourth in his semi-final at the Olympic Trials. [6]

At the 1951 Pan American Games he was a member of the American relay team which won the gold medal in the 4×100 metres competition. In the 100 metres contest as well as in the 200 metres event he won the silver medal. In both races he lost narrowly to Cuba's Rafael Fortun.

Always a keen college runner, in 1953, Bragg helped, as anchor leg, Morgan State College to victories in the quarter- and half-mile relays at the Penn Relays. [note 1] Bragg also completed a triple of individual wins. [7] [8]

Bragg continued running after leaving college. In 1954 he won the 100 and 220 yards titles at the AAU Championships. In both he established new AAU meet records of 9.4 and 21.1 s respectively. [9]

Bragg was famed at the time he was racing for his often slow start to his races with a subsequent fast finish and the disappointments he suffered in his career at the major championships. [8] [10]

In 1954, Bragg was one of the candidates for the prestigious James E. Sullivan Award that is presented annually by the AAU to the outstanding American athlete. If he had won he would have been the first African-American recipient of the award. In the end, the award went to Mal Whitfield. [11]

Bragg has admitted his Olympic disappointment lives with him - when watching the 100 m "I cried," Bragg said. "I had successes; that was the major disappointment. Every Olympics, when I watch the 100 on TV, I break down and cry." [12] He has described his 1952 injury as a total fluke - whilst on the warmup strip "Someone opened one of the doors and I made a quick motion to my left to avoid hitting it . . . oops, the hamstring went.". [12]

In later years, Bragg is reported as living in Los Angeles and working for Los Angeles County Probation Department as a Deputy Probation Officer. He is married with one child, a boy. [4] He left for California in 1956 and never returned to Maryland. [12] His son studied at Howard University. [12]


  1. quarter-mile relay is 4 x 110 y; half-mile relay is 4 x 220 y


Bragg was ranked among the best in the US and the world in both the 100 m/100 y and 200 m/220 y sprint events from 1950 to 1954, according to the votes of the experts of Track and Field News . [13] [14] [15] [16]

USA Championships

Bragg was always a formidable performer at the AAU championships, the USA national championships. [17]

Competition record

Representing US flag 48 stars.svg  United States
1952 Olympics Helsinki, Finland 6th, SF 1100 m 11.43/10.9

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  1. 1 2 Art Bragg at Sports Reference Art Bragg,
  2. R L Quercetani & G Pallicca, "A World History of Sprint Racing 1850-2005", SEP Editrice Srl, 2006, p 279.
  3. Art Bragg's obituary
  4. 1 2 Morgans State Bears, Hall of Fame. Retrieved 27 August 2012.
  5. Duncanson, Neil, "The Fastest Men on Earth", Andre Deutsch, 2011, p 114.
  6. The History of the United States Olympic Trials - Track & Field, R Hymans, USA Track & Field, 2008
  7. Archived 2012-06-30 at the Wayback Machine "Timeline@The Penn Relays", Penn Relays Official Results & Blog. Retrieved 27 August 2012.
  8. 1 2,4740188 "Art Bragg Stars at Penn Relays With Three Wins", The Day, April 27, 1953. Retrieved 28 August 2012.
  9. "Art Bragg Breaks 23-Year-Old Sprint Record", Jet, 1 July 1954. Retrieved 27 August 2012.
  10.,6049446 " 'Iron Man' Bragg Paces Morgan's Finest Hour", Baltimore Afro-American, May 2, 1953.
  11.,3472622 "Sullivan Award to Mal Whitfield", Baltimore Afro-American, January 5, 1955.
  12. 1 2 3 4 "Olympics always bring -- of sadness to ex-Bear Bragg", Doug Brown, The Baltimore Sun, July 23, 1992.
  13. "World Rankings Index--Men's 100 meters" (PDF). Track and Field News. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2013-06-09. Retrieved 2012-08-29.
  14. "U.S. Rankings Index--Men's 100 meters" (PDF). Track and Field News. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2013-06-09. Retrieved 2012-08-29.
  15. "World Rankings Index--Men's 200 meters" (PDF). Track and Field News. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-09-14. Retrieved 2012-08-29.
  16. "U.S. Rankings Index--Men's 200 meters" (PDF). Track and Field News. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2012-02-13. Retrieved 2012-08-29.
  17. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-06-09. Retrieved 2012-06-17.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link) A History Of The Results Of The National Track & Field Championships Of The USA From 1876 Through 2003, Track and Field News, Retrieved 3 February 2012.