Sheff, Don : Jews In Sports @ Virtual Museum

Sheff, Don

Donald Alexander Sheff


Country Represented:
United States

Years Competed:

Medals Received:

Olympic Info:
Sheff was a member of the United States swimming team at the 1952 Helsinki Games, and competed in the 4x200-meter freestyle relay. In the preliminaries, the U.S. won their heat with a time of 8:30.9 with Sheff swimming the second leg for the U.S. team. In the finals, the U.S. won the gold medal, but Sheff did not swim in the race.

Career Highlights:
Sheff was one of the top American freestyle swimmers in the early 1950s. In 1951, as a student at Yale, Sheff was named All-America in the 50-yard freestyle, 100-yard freestyle, and freestyle relays; that year, Yale won the NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association) Swimming and Diving National Championship. In 1952, he was a member of Yale's 300-yard medley relay team that won the NCAA Championship.

Competing for the New Haven Sports Club, Sheff was a member of the 880-yard freestyle relay team that won the AAU (Amateur Athletic Union) outdoor championship in 1950 and 1951. He was also a member of the 400-yard freestyle relay team that won the AAU indoor championship from 1951-1954, and won the 300-yard medley relay in 1953. Sheff is currently the president of the New York Institute of Photography.

Birth and Death Dates:


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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