Shot put winner at London Olympics 1948 Wilbur “Moose” Thompson has died at the age of 92.
Moose Thompson died on Christmas, according to a statement Tuesday from the University of Southern California, where he was a member of the school’s 1942 NCAA championship track and field team. No cause of death was given.
At the London Games in 1948, Wilbur Thompson won the shot put with a career-best mark of 56 feet, 2 inches, breaking the Olympic record by more than 3 feet.
After winning national shot put titles in 1939 and 1940 while attending Modesto Junior College in California, Wilbur Thompson enrolled at USC. His career there was interrupted when he served in the Army during World War II. He was second in the shot put at the 1946 NCAA meet after placing fifth in 1942.
Born in Frankfort, South Dakota, Wilbur Thompson won the state high school shot put title in the late 1930s. He was given the nickname “Moose” when he grew to 6 feet and 200 pounds as a sophomore.
A Long Beach resident since 1953, Wilbur Thompson worked in the oil business and later with the California State Lands Commission.
Moose Thompson is survived by three daughters.