track and field
Glickman was one of America's finest sprinters in the 1930's and went on to become perhaps the most famous, influential and beloved figure in sports broadcasting. He was one of two Jewish stars abruptly removed from the 1936 American 4x100 meter relay team hours before the event took place. Many, including Glickman himself, suspected that Glickman and Sam Stoller were removed from the team due to anti-Semitism, and a craven attempt on the part of U.S. Olympic officials to appease Adolph Hitler. The official (though utterly false) explanation given by USOC chair Avery Brundage was that the Germans had reportedly concealed a pair of exceptional sprinters for the relay, therefore the American team need to deploy more experienced runners for the event, although their team was the prohibitive favorite. There were in fact no secret German runners, and the German team was not even good enough to medal in the 4x100-meter relay. The removal of Glickman and Stoller was only time that healthy, first-string, rule-abiding American athletes (as opposed to alternates -- who technically aren't members of the Olympic team until they actually compete) had made the trip to the Olympics but were not allowed to compete in the Games.
Glickman always felt that anti-Semitism had been the determining factor in the decision to remove him and Stoller, from the relay. He observed dryly that "...if it hadn't been for that decision by our coaches, no one would remember me as an Olympian. I mean, name another 400-meter relay runner. But I'd much prefer to have run and won a medal." In 1998, the U.S. Olympic Committee presented Glickman with its first Douglas McArthur Award, for service to the Olympic community, in place of the gold medal he would have won had he been allowed to compete. Although he did not find written proof of anti-Semitism, the former president of the USOC, William Hybl, noted that "I was a prosecutor. I'm used to looking at evidence. The evidence was there."
Immediately following the 1936 Games, the U.S. track team ran in international competitions in Paris and London. Although Stoller returned home, Glickman was once again a member of the 4x100-meter relay team. At the London meet, the relay team of Jesse Owens, Ralph Metcalfe, Frank Wycoff, and Glickman set a new world record, topping the mark of the Olympic relay team.
Glickman became a broadcaster at Syracuse University in 1938, and subsequently emerged as the original radio voice of Madison Square Garden college basketball in 1945. The following year, he became the radio play-by-play announcer of the New York Knicks, a position he held for 21 years. Glickman was also the radio play-by-play voice of the New York Giants, a position he held from 1948-1971. When he left the Giants, he did play-by-play for the New York Jets until 1978. He then returned to the Jets from 1988-1992, when he retired at the age of 74. In 1991, Glickman was the second recepient of the Basketball Hall of Fame's prestigious Curt Gowdy Electronic Media Award.
Birth and Death Dates:
b. Aug. 14, 1917 - d. Jan. 3, 2001
Bronx, New York
Use links below to navigate through the olympics section of Jews In Sports.
PHOTOGRAPHS AND OTHER IMAGES
Great Jews in Sports by Robert Slater (New York: Jonathan David Publishers, 2000)
encyclopedia of JEWS in sports, by Bernard Postal, Jesse Silver, and Roy Silver (New York: Bloch Publishing Co., 1965)