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Our holdings include hundreds of glass and film negatives/transparencies that we've scanned ourselves; in addition, many other photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs) in the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) They are adjusted, restored and reworked by your webmaster in accordance with his aesthetic sensibilities before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here. All of these images (including "derivative works") are protected by copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions and may not be sold, reproduced or otherwise used for commercial purposes without permission.

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[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Vs. Them: 1919

Vs. Them: 1919

"Bob Le Grende [Legendre], Georgetown, 1919. The track and field star may be one of America's representatives at the Olympic Games at Antwerp next summer. He recently won the pentathlon title at the inter-allied meet in Pershing Stadium, Paris." As it turns out, his life was tragically cut short by illness. View full size.

On Shorpy:
Today's Top 5

Chariots of Fire

I wish they would have had him as one of the characters in one of my absolute favorite modern films, "Chariots of Fire." The film was about the British track and field team for the 1924 Paris Summer Olympics. Two of the stars of the American team, Charles Paddock and Jackson Scholz, were portrayed in the film, (most notably the latter, who was portrayed by the late Brad Davis). Bob Legendre would certainly have known them!

Bob LeGendre

It's so nice to read the positive comments about my grandfather. My mother, Jeanne Collette LeGendre, was his only child and if she were around today, she would be so happy to see these photos/articles about him. Wish I had been able to meet him but he died too young (1898-1931). Mom was only 8 years old when he died and never got over losing him.

I am one of 8 children -- Bob was the last of 13 children, all born in Lewiston, Maine.

Time Marches On

Love the lack of definition in those thighs. As a runner in these modern, muscle-isolating times, I often wish I could go back to early races and place way higher than I do now. Realistically, though, I'd probably have to go back to Ancient times to get any advantage.


Brilliant title. My compliments.

Bob Legendre Dies at 34


NEW YORK, Jan. 21, 1931 — Robert Legendre, former Georgetown athlete and lieutenant in the United States Navy, died of bronchial pneumonia today at the naval hospital in Brooklyn. Legendre was 34 and an officer in the dental corps of the Navy, in which he had served for two years and a half. He died at 11:10 a.m. (E.S.T.), three days after be was brought to the naval hospital ill. The body will be sent to his home in Lewiston, Maine, for interment.

Legendre, famous as a remarkable competitor, was thrice American pentathlon champion and placed third in the Olympic pentathlon at Paris in 1924.

John Kieran in the NY Times:


The recent death of Bob Legendre came as a great shock to those who remembered him only eight or nine years ago, the stalwart Georgetown athlete who was crowned all-around national champion. He had a sunny disposition and a magnificent physique. Dr. R. Tait McKenzie, the noted sculptor, who is also head of the Department of Physical Education at the University of Pennsylvania, took Legendre as a model for some of his athletic figures. Almost anyone would have prophesied long life for such a sturdy figure, but it didn't turn out that way.

Bob Legendre

I think the caption here is wrong. Bob Legendre (or LeGendre) is the correct name I think. He won a bronze at the 1924 Paris games in pentathlon and later joined the Navy. He died of pneumonia in 1931 in his 30s.

[No doubt the same person. Although National Photo, the LOC caption and at least some newspapers spelled it Le Grende (below). - Dave]

SHORPY HISTORICAL PHOTO ARCHIVE | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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