Kwartler, Allan : Jews In Sports @ Virtual Museum

Kwartler, Allan

Allan Sidney Kwartler


Country Represented:
United States

Years Competed:
1952, 1956, 1960

Olympic Info:
One of America's greatest sabre fencers, Kwartler competed in three Olympiads in the 1950s. At the 1952 Helsinki Games, Allan competed in both the individual and team sabre events. In the team competition, the U.S. defeated Switzerland in the first round (9-2), Germany in the second round (11-5), and Poland in the semifinals (10-6). Kwartler and the U.S. team (with teammates Norman Armitage, Alex Treves, and George Worth) advanced to the final round-robin competition but then lost to Hungary 13-3 (Kwartler had one victory), to Italy 12-4 (he had one victory), and to France 8-6 (two victories) to finish in fourth place. In the individual sabre event, Allan reached the quarterfinals, but was eliminated as he won only one of six matches in his pool.

Kwartler returned to the Olympics four years later at the 1956 Melbourne Games and again competed in the individual and team sabre events. In the individual competition, Kwartler advanced to the semifinals before being eliminated when he finished seventh in his pool (only the first four fencers make the finals). In the team event, the U.S. received a first round bye, but were eliminated in the semifinals after losing to Poland (10-6) and Hungary (9-1).

In his final Olympics appearance at the 1960 Rome Games, Kwartler helped the U.S. to another fourth-place finish in the team sabre event. In the individual competition, Allan won his first-round pool and eventually advanced to the quarterfinals, but was eliminated after going winless in his pool.

Career Highlights:
Kwartler, one of the best fencers in the U.S. in the 1950s, won the gold medal in the foil at the 1953 Maccabiah Games, and then captured the gold medal in the team sabre and took the silver in the team foil at the 1955 Pan American Games. Four years later, at the 1959 Pan American Games, Kwartler took the gold medal in both the individual sabre and team sabre. Allan, who began fencing while a student at Michigan State in the late 1940s, was a member of 10 U.S. National Championship teams.

Following his competitive career, Kwartler became a top coach at Polytechnic, SUNY-Purchase, and West Point Academy. A member of both the Yonkers Hall of Fame and the Westchester Hall of Fame, Kwartler was a member of the U.S. Fencing Association Board of Directors prior to his death in 1998. Known as "Doc," he was remembered for the pipe he always smoked and his remarkable talent as a fencer. Former Polytechnic athletic director Joe Martini said of Kwartler: "Allan did an outstanding job in his 15 years (1965-1980) at Poly...He was quite a swordsman and teacher."

Birth and Death Dates:
b. September 10, 1917 - d. November 11, 1998

New York

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encyclopedia of JEWS in sports, by Bernard Postal, Jesse Silver, and Roy Silver (New York: Bloch Publishing Co., 1965)
New York Times, July 21-August 2, 1952
New York Times, September 23, 1953
New York Times, November 23-December 8, 1956
New York Times, August 27-September 9, 1960