Pete George

Peter T. George[1] (June 29, 1929 – July 27, 2021) was an American weightlifter and Olympic and World champion. He was later an assistant professor of stomatology. Because of his ethnic origin, and despite the long list of Bulgarian weightlifters with Olympic medals, he was the first Bulgarian to win Olympic gold.[2]

Pete George
Pete George, Fyodor Bogdanovsky and Ermanno Pignatti 1956.jpg
Pete George (left) and Fyodor Bogdanovsky and Ermanno Pignatti at the 1956 Olympics
Personal information
Full namePeter T. George
BornJune 29, 1929
Akron, Ohio, U.S.
DiedJuly 27, 2021(2021-07-27) (aged 92)


His Bulgarian parents[3] Trayan and Paraskeva Taleff originated from Bitola, Yugoslav Macedonia,[4] from where they immigrated to the U.S. in 1929.[5] His father was an activist of the Macedonian Patriotic Organization and both his parents were members of the Macedono-Bulgarian St. Elia the Prophet Orthodox Church (Akron, Ohio).[6]

Born in Akron, Ohio,[1] George was the first 15-year-old to clean and jerk 300 lbs[7] and was the youngest senior state champion of Ohio at 14 and 1/2. His brother Jim is also weightlifter. Pete won a gold medal at the 1952 Summer Olympics in Helsinki.[8] George also received silver medals at the 1948 Summer Olympics in London,[9] and at the 1956 Summer Olympics in Melbourne.[10] He also won five World Championships outside of the Olympics in 1947, 1951, 1953, 1954, and 1955. George placed second at the World Championships in 1949 and 1950, making a total of ten medals in World and Olympic competition. He also set four world records, three in the clean and jerk, and one in the total.

After retiring from athletics, he attended Kent State University, the Ohio State University, and Columbia University. George became an orthodontist and served on the faculty of the University of Hawaii. He pioneered treatments for obstructive sleep apnea. He held the patent for the Nocturnal Airway Patency Appliance (NAPA), a device preventing the stoppage of breathing during sleep. After retirement, George used to spend summertime in the birthplace of his wife, Ognyanovo, Blagoevgrad Province, Bulgaria.[11] In 1993, George was awarded the Macedonian Hall of Fame Award by the Macedonian Businessmen's Club founded in Akron, Ohio in 1950.[12]


  1. ^ a b Evans, Hilary; Gjerde, Arild; Heijmans, Jeroen; Mallon, Bill; et al. "Pete George". Olympics at Sports Reference LLC. Archived from the original on April 17, 2020. Retrieved May 7, 2015.
  2. ^ Peter George, Secrets of the Squat Snatch; Gatekeeper Press, 2018; ISBN 1619846861, Autoritative review.
  3. ^ Marty Gallagher, Pete George. The greatest American Olympic Weightlifting prodigy of all time. Starting Strength Weekly Report, October 11, 2012.
  4. ^ Ohio History Central
  5. ^ Cal, Volume 47, Coe Laboratories, 1983 p. 21.
  6. ^ Macedonian Directory: 1951, Publisher Central Committee of M.P.O. of the U.S. and Canada, p. 9.
  7. ^ Honolulu Star-Bulletin
  8. ^ "1952 Summer Olympics - Helsinki, Finland - Weightlifting" Archived 2007-08-27 at the Wayback Machine - (Retrieved on February 22, 2008).
  9. ^ "1948 Summer Olympics - London, United Kingdom- Weightlifting" Archived 2007-08-30 at the Wayback Machine - (Retrieved on February 22, 2008).
  10. ^ "1956 Summer Olympics - Melbourne, Australia - Weightlifting" Archived 2007-08-27 at the Wayback Machine - (Retrieved on February 22, 2008).
  11. ^ Питър Джордж - първият българин с олимпийско злато., 28 Авг. 2008.
  12. ^ Macedonian Businessmen's Club

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