AUGUST 26, 1919

PENOBSCOT OLYMPIC MARATHONER ANDREW SOCKALEXIS DIED

Born on January 11, 1892, in Old Town, Maine, Andrew grew up on Indian Island, Maine.  His older brother, Louis, played a few seasons with the Cleveland Spiders and was considered possibly the first Native American to play Major League Baseball.  At a young age, Andrew was determined to become a marathon runner.  In 1912, after coming in a surprising and close 2nd in the Boston Marathon, he qualified for and participated in the 1912 Olympics in Sweden and placed fourth place in the marathon–five minutes behind the winner.  Returning home, he received a royal welcome.  Andrew completed the Boston Marathon in 1912 and 1913, finishing second both times.  In 1916, in his last race, he complained of chest pains, but ran the race.  As Andrew crossed the finish line and stopped running, he started to cough up blood and collapsed.  Diagnosed with tuberculosis, which plagued his family, he was in poor health for the next three years.  Sockalexis died in the town of South Paris, Maine at the age of 27. 

Sources:  Thomas C. Bennett, “Andrew Sockalexis, Olympic Marathoner from Maine,” Maine Running History.  Retrieved 6/24/2020, http://www.mainerunninghistory.org/results/1912/sockalexis_bio.pdf
Photo:  (1000). Spalding's official athletic almanac (1913). American Sports Publishing Co. Retrieved from https://library.si.edu/digital-library/book/spaldingsofficia1913sull.  Public domain:  Deemed free of copyright by Smithsonian Institution, https://library.si.edu/copyright

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