Ted Vogel

Marathon – 1948 Olympics, London, England 

Ted Vogel runs a marathon

On a sweltering day in August, Ted Vogel crossed the finish line in the marathon at the 1948 Olympics, the first American to do so. He had come into the competition highly ranked after being ranked third in the world in 1947 and having just come in second place in the 1948 Boston Marathon.

Theodore “Ted” Vogel was born July 17, 1925, in Boston, MA, grew up in Watertown, MA, and went to Tufts University on a scholarship through the Navy. In 1944, he left Tufts to serve on a Destroyer Escort in the Pacific in WWII. When his service was completed, he returned to Tufts to finish his education. Ted then began working for Hallmark. In 1982, he moved to Dover, NH, and a year later opened his own Hallmark store at the Fox Run Mall in Newington.

Always an athletic person, Ted started running at the age of fifteen. By age 16, he could run a mile in under 5 minutes and won numerous races, including the prestigious 10-mile Cathedral Race in Boston. Beginning at age 19, he ran the Boston Marathon four times, coming in 15th, 9th, 3rd, and finally 2nd. In 1947 he won the Yonkers, NY Marathon and was the first of three Americans to qualify for the 1948 Olympics in London, where he came in 14th place.

After the Olympics, Ted retired from professional running to get married and start a family, though he always stayed active. In 1998, he set the NH state record for the fastest 5K time in the 70+ age demographic, and he continued to run well into his 80s. Ted’s legacy remains strong today from his time volunteering at Wentworth-Douglass Hospital, serving on the Farmwood Village Association Board, being a member of both the Rotary Club and Lions Club, and inspiring young runners in New Hampshire and throughout New England.