Fred Thompson, Who Championed Women in Track, Dies at 85

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After two years in the Army, he was admitted to the state bar in 1961 and opened a private laws observe in Brooklyn. He labored completely on negligence circumstances.

Aware of city’s shortage of monitor providers for the youthful, and considerably concerned about restricted ladies’ participation in intramural and interscholastic sports activities actions actions, Mr. Thompson adopted his aunt’s suggestion to develop into involved. He grew to develop into a civilian volunteer with the Police Athletic League after which primarily based the Atoms Track Club. Soon he had dozens of members.

“Most of them are not from circumstances and surroundings that you would call ideal,” he suggested The Times. “They have home problems, social problems, boy problems and many other problems. You can’t just sweep these under the rug if you want to see them develop their talents and succeed in life. So I involve myself.”

A decade later, in 1972, the landmark federal legal guidelines generally called Title IX, which banned intercourse discrimination in any educational program receiving federal funds, grew to develop into laws. It was the beginning of a sea change for female athletes. Before the laws, about 310,000 ladies and ladies in America had been collaborating in highschool and school sports activities actions. Today, federal officers say, there are 3.3 million.

Mr. Thompson, who handled approved circumstances for ABC-TV, the Federal Trade Commission and Madison Square Garden and was an assistant state authorized skilled fundamental from 1967 to 1969, gave up laws observe in 1974, when he grew to develop into the full-time paid director of the Colgate Women’s Games. Sponsored by Colgate-Palmolive, the video video games have been an unlimited, sophisticated operation, often attracting as many as 20,000 rivals of all ages.

He remained the coach of the Atoms until after the flip of the century, when its membership began to dwindle, and directed the Colgate Women’s Games for 40 years until his retirement in 2014.

Mr. Thompson, whose brother died some years in the previous, leaves no prompt survivors. He had Alzheimer’s sickness in newest years nonetheless remained at his residence in Brooklyn, cared for by Ms. Forde, definitely considered one of his best and most devoted former runners. A sprinter from Barbados, she competed in the 1972 and 1976 Summer Olympics and in the 1975 Pan American Games.

“Fred Thompson is one of those special people that a sport such as track and field needs,” the Times columnist Dave Anderson wrote in 1979. “In the big money sports, a coach can always dream of going on to a lucrative career in college or in the pros. In track and field, there is no big money as there is in football or basketball. In track and field, the love of the sport is true; the dream is pure.”

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