One of the best single-scull rowers in the world in the mid-1960s, Spero competed at the 1964 Tokyo Olympics. In the first round, he cruised to victory in 7:41.94, and automatically advanced the finals. Unfortunately, he was injured during the race and finished sixth in the final with a time of 8:37.53.
Spero, the greatest Jewish rower in history, competed in his first international competition at the 1961 Maccabiah Games, winning the gold medal in the four-with-coxswain event. During the rest of the decade, he was one of the best individual rowers in the world (he turned to singles in 1961), winning the World Rowing Single Sculls Championship in 1966, and becoming the U.S. National Champion in singles sculls in 1963, 1964, 1966, double sculls champ in 1963, and quadruple sculls champion in 1965. Spero co-founded the National Rowing Foundation in 1966, and was its director from 1967-1984. He is a member of the Rowing Hall of Fame, the Cornell University Hall of Fame, the New York Athletic Club Hall of Fame, and the International Jewish Sports Hall of Fame.
Spero received his doctorate from Columbia University in physics, and then became president and co-founder of the Fusions Systems Corporation, a semiconductor equipment manufacturer. He is currently director of the Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship at the University of Maryland. He is also a member of the Washington, D.C. chapter of the Barbershop Quartet Society.
Birth and Death Dates:
b. Aug. 9, 1938
Use links below to navigate through the olympics section of Jews In Sports.
Great Jews in Sports by Robert Slater (New York: Jonathan David Publishers, 2000)
encyclopedia of JEWS in sports, by Bernard Postal, Jesse Silver, and Roy Silver (New York: Bloch Publishing Co., 1965)
Jewish Sports Legends: The International Jewish Sports Hall of Fame, by Joseph Siegman (Washington, D.C.: Brassey's, 2000)
The Olympic Games: Athens 1896-Sydney 2000, (New York: Dorling Kindersley, 1999)
New York Times, October 11-October 25, 1964