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Milton Green, 91; Boycotted '36 Olympics to Protest Nazi Germany

April 02, 2005|From Times Staff and Wire Reports

Milton Green, 91, a former world record hurdler who boycotted the 1936 Olympics in Berlin, died Tuesday in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., his family announced.

Green's death was erroneously reported last August by Associated Press and leading newspapers across the country after the news agency mistook him for another man with the same name.

"He thought it was absolutely hysterical. He couldn't stop laughing," his daughter, Patricia Dunn, told the Boston Globe.

A native of Lowell, Mass., Green was a student at Harvard when he tied the world record of 5.8 seconds in the 45-yard high hurdles four times. He also tied the world record of 7.5 seconds in the 60-meter hurdles in 1936.

He was considered a good possibility for a gold medal in Berlin, but he boycotted the games because of the repression of Jews in Nazi Germany under Adolf Hitler.

"It was a very difficult decision at the time," Green told the Palm Beach Post not long ago. "My roommate and I both qualified for final tryouts. Then we got a call from the rabbi at our temple. He suggested the boycott." Green said he never regretted his decision.

He spent much of his business career developing shopping centers in the Northeast and in Florida.

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