Robert Garrett at the 1896 Olympic Games in Athens (Wikipedia)Robert Garrett
Born: May 24, 1875

Died: April 25, 1961

Married: Katharine Barker Garrett


In 1896 Robert Garrett was the first modern Olympic champion in discus and shot put.

He was a son of Thomas Harrison Garrett, and a grandson of John Work Garrett, (1820-1884), the longtime president of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, and a great-grandson of Robert Garrett, founder in 1819 of a finance and shipping firm. The younger Robert Garrett studied at Princeton University. He excelled in track and field athletics as an undergraduate, and was captain of the Princeton track team in both his junior and senior years.

He became a banker and financier at his grandfather's historic mercantile firm Robert Garrett and Sons in Baltimore. Garrett had an early intensive interest in science, especially in history and archeology, and became an early collector and donor. He helped to organize and finance an archaeological expedition to Syria. From 1932 to 1939, he was involved with the excavation of Antioch, helping to fund the excavations and working on them. He collected medieval and Renaissance manuscripts. In 1942, Garrett donated his collection of more than 11,000 manuscripts to Princeton University.