Ed Hamm

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Ed Hamm[1]

Ed Hamm was one of Georgia Tech's most renowned Track and Field Athletes. He specialized in the long jump and sprints. He won many titles while attending Tech, graduated, and later became one of the track coaches at Tech.


Early Life

Edward Barton Hamm was born on April 13, 1906 in a small town out side of Little Rock Arkansas called Lonoke, to Charles Edward Hamm and Zilaph Dare Harris Hamm. Oldest of five brothers and one sister, he was a natural born leader. [2] During high school, he excelled in his childhood interest in sports, specifically that of track and field and won the state long jump three years in a row, despite the multiple times he came down with malaria, which back then was a serious threat to one’s health.[3] Hamm usually went by the familiar nickname of “Ed or Eddie” and was known for his loving personality which made him get along with almost everyone he met.

Career at Tech

Freshman Year

At a meet in 1926, Hamm set the national interscholastic record in the broad jump with an astounding leap of 19 feet and 6 inches.[4] That same year, Hamm was chosen to be on the All-American interscholastic track team.[5] At the 1926 R.O.T.C. Field Day, Hamm was outstanding and won both the century dash, the 220-yard dash, and the the broad jump. He also placed in the discus throw event.[5] In the meet against North Carolina, Ed Hamm won the century dash in just 10.3 seconds. However during that race, Hamm hurt and was forced to abandon the broad jump event later that day.[6]

Sophomore Year

During the first meet if the season, Ed Hamm won four events including the 75-yard and 150-yard dashes, the broad jump, and the discus throw. He Also took third place in the shot put.[7] In February of his sophomore year, Hamm was recuperating at St. Joseph's hospital after having his tonsils removed on February 14, 1927. It was said that the operation would not hinder the progress of his career that spring, but he would be kept from practice for a few weeeks.[8] That April at the southern relay Carnival, Hamm took home the only first place for Tech when he won the running broad jump by clearing 22 feet and 7.5 inches.[9] In the North Carolina meet later that April, Ed Hamm broke the southern conference record in the broad jump with a mark of 23 feet and 10 and seven-eighths inches.[10] However, this record was short lived because in May of that year, in the meet against Georgia, he shattered his record by leaping 24 feet and 2 inches.[11] Later that year, during the Southern Conference meet, Ed Hamm broke his record yet again with a jump of 24 feet and 11 and 3/4 inches.[12]

Junior Year

During his junior year at Georgia Tech, Ed Hamm was elected to captain of the track and field team.[13]

Education and Sports Involvement

In his high school career at Lonoake Ark High School, he was the holder of the national interscholastic broad jump record.[14] Not only did he set a state record of 23’2” his sophomore year, but Ed also won the state 220 yard dash all three years and the state 100 yard dash twice. And this was only high school. At the tender age of 18, Hamm set a record of 24’2”, qualifying him for the Olympic trials in Boston, Massachusetts.[15] After failing at the trials, Hamm finished high school and went on to college at the Georgia Institute of Technology, where he won the 100 and 220 yard sprints and the long jump at the Southeast Conference Championship, presently known as the Southeastern Conference, three years in a row.

4 years later, Hamm ventured off to the 1928 Summer Olympics in Amsterdam where he made it to the final round in 7 events, placing first in the long jump. Also breaking an Olympic record and receiving a gold medal with a personal record in the long jump with an effort of 25’4 3/4”. After the Olympics he joined a track and field team that toured England and Germany.[16]

Life After Tech

In 1928, Hamm joined the commencement ceremony to accept his graduation diploma from the Georgia Institute of Technology. Later he went on to be the track coach at Tech and then went into private business where he proved to be quite the successful businessman by taking the position of an executive with Coca-Cola.[17][18] In 1971, Hamm was inducted in the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame, and in 1996 inducted in the Track and Field Hall of Fame for all his athletic accomplishments.

Over the years, Hamm married three times. When he died in 1982, his remains were moved to Oregon, where his ashes were spread over his favorite fishing lake. Edward Hamm was a talented, determined and well-balanced young man who with commitment and dedication turned his life into a huge success. He is proof that no matter where you come from, you can always end up successful because the world is full of opportunities waiting for you to take them.


  1. Mennillo, Tom. "Running the Race of His life." Baha'i World News Service. N.p., 8 Aug. 2003. Web. 29 Sept. 2010. <http://news.bahai.org/story/236>.
  2. "Ed Hamm." Wikipedia. Google, 8 Nov. 2010. Web. 17 Nov. 2010.
  3. "Ed Hamm." Wikipedia. Google, 8 Nov. 2010. Web. 17 Nov. 2010.
  4. "Track Team rapidly Rounding Into Shape" Technique 02 Apr 1926, Print.
  5. 5.0 5.1 "Largest Entry list In History of Event" Technique 09 Apr 1926, Print.
  6. "Papa Hood Establishes New Shot Put Distance" Technique 16 Apr 1926, Print.
  7. "Jackets Defeat Tornado In Weekly Track Meet" Technique 14 Jan 1927, Print.
  8. "Ed Hamm Recuperating At St. Joseph's" Technique 18 Feb 1927, Print.
  9. "Records Fall In Greatest Southern Relay Carnival" Technique 15 Apr 1927, Print.
  10. "Ed Hamm Breaks Broad Jump Record as North Carolina Noses Out Jackets" Technique 29 Apr 1927, Print.
  11. "Jackets Score Decisive Victory Over Athenians As Hamm Stars" Technique 13 May 1927, Print.
  12. "Jackets Take Second Place in Conference Track Meet" Technique 20 May 1927, Print.
  13. "Barron'sCinder Path Artists Priming for Tech Relays" Technique 06 Apr 1928, Print.
  14. "Jacket Team Will Be Entered In Penn Relay Carnival" Technique 19 Mar 1926, Print.
  15. "Ed Hamm." Wikipedia. Google, 8 Nov. 2010. Web. 17 Nov. 2010.
  16. "Ed Hamm Biography." SR/Olympic Sports. Mitsubishi, 2000. Web. 17 Nov. 2010.
  17. Source Summary:Engineering The New South, Georgia Tech, 1885-1985 Athletics, The Post-Sputnik Era
  18. "Ed Hamm." Wikipedia. Google, 8 Nov. 2010. Web. 17 Nov. 2010.

Source Summary:Engineering The New South, Georgia Tech, 1885-1985 Athletics, The Post-Sputnik Era

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