A Sailor's Story: Lieutenant George Payton Jordan

The U.S. Naval Lieutenant George Payton Jordan was born on March 19, 1918, in Whittier, California.

A highly talented athlete, he attended Pasadena High School and the University of Southern California, where Lieutenant Payton Jordon was a member of both the football and the track teams and in 1939, was the captain of the Collegiate Champion team.

Although an Olympic hopeful, World War II canceled the games. Lieutenant Jordan joined the U.S. Navy, participating on the track team while at flight school.

After his service, Lieutenant Payton Jordan became the coach at Occidental College and then Stanford University.   His coaching ability was notable, and his athletes were consistently high performers. For example, in 1968, Payton Jordan coached the U.S. Olympic team, who famously won 24 medals and set six world records.

In 1972 Payton Jordan began to compete again in the USA Track and Field Master's division.  He set two world records and two American records during his second running career.

Payton Jordan has been inducted into the USA National Track and Field Hall of Fame and the USATF Master's Hall of Fame.

He died on February 2, 2009.  His ashes have been scattered in the Pacific Ocean.


a.d. elliott is a wanderer, writer, and photographer currently living in Salem, Virginia. 

In addition to the travel writings at www.takethebackroads.com, you can also read her book reviews at www.riteoffancy.com and US military biographies at www.everydaypatriot.com

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