Last NameSportCountryYear Inducted

Sport: Rowing
Inducted: 1993
Country: United States
Born: August 9, 1939 in Chicago, Illinois

One of America’s most celebrated rowing athletes, Don Spero won the World Rowing Single Sculls Championship in 1966 in Bled, Yugoslavia. Later that year, he again took the gold medal at the National Championships at St. Catherine’s, Ontario, Canada. In 1965, Spero won the Henley Regatta Diamond Sculls Championship in England and the Duisberg International Regatta Single Sculls Gold Medal in Germany.

Spero was U.S. national champion in 1963, 1964, and 1966 in Single Sculls; Double Sculls Champion in 1963; and Quadruple Sculls Champion in 1965.

Although injured in the 1964 Olympic semifinals, Spero managed to finish sixth in Single Sculls at the Tokyo Games and won a bronze medal in the same event that year at the European Championships in Amsterdam. In 1963, Spero took a silver medal in Double Sculls at the European Championships in Copenhagen.

His first international competition came at the World Maccabiah Games in 1961, when he captured a gold medal in Four with Coxswain.

In 1966, Spero co-founded the National Rowing Foundation and was its director from 1967 to 1984. Among his many honors are election to the Helms/Rowing Hall of Fame in 1966, Cornell University Hall of Fame in 1984, and New York Athletic Club Hall of Fame in 1986.


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