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Larson, Clinton, 1892-1952



  • Existence: 1892 - 1952

Biographical History

Clinton Larson was born on December 16, 1892 in St. George, Utah to parents John Thomas and Henrietta Riding Larson. He attended Dixie High School, and in 1914 broke the Utah high school high jump record at 6' 2" and then won first place at the national scholastic meet in Chicago, Illinois. As a track athlete for Brigham Young University, Larson won first place in the high jump in several competitions, most notably the National Junior A.A.U. championship at the San Francisco World’s Fair in 1915 and the Penn Relays of 1917, at which Larson broke the collegiate world record in the high jump at 6' 5 5/8", and held it for seventeen years.

Clinton Larson joined the United States Army Air Corps in late 1917 and attended the Military School of Aeronautics in Austin, Texas before serving as an athletic director of the 39th Squadron at Kelly Field, Texas. The 39th Squadron was a special force comprised of "entertaining" soldiers: musicians, dancers, athletes, etc., whose purpose was to maintain morale of the other troops. Larson, then, fulfilled his duty as a serviceman at various track meets in Texas and New York and at the Inter-Allied Games at Pershing Stadium in Paris, France in June and July of 1919. He won first place in the high jump at that prestigious competition.

After graduating from Brigham Young University in 1921 he continued to train and compete in the high jump for several more years, and eventually focused his athletic ambition on organizational matters of Utah athletics. From 1930 until the time of his death he was the chairman of field and track events for the Inter-mountain Athletic Association, and promoted several A.A.U. events. In 1947 he became the National A.A.U. Vice Chairman of track and field. He also served as an official in the 1932 Olympic Games in Los Angeles, California.

Clinton Larson married Lillian Foster on September 26, 1918, and together they raised one son, Clinton Foster Larson, who was born on September 22, 1919. Clinton and Lillian divorced in 1946, and in June of 1949 Clinton married Louaine Proctor.

Larson also taught high school for many years in the Granite School District and Salt Lake City Schools and worked particularly in visual and physical education, collecting an estimate of 10,000 slides featuring photographs of physical education exhibitions, and serving as chairman of the state visual education group. As well as a slide collector, Larson was a leader and enthusiast for the Boy Scouts of America, serving as the district commissioner for the Salt Lake Council.

Larson retired from physical education teaching in 1947, but continued to substitute teach until his death on January 22, 1952, at age 59. In 1974, he was inducted into the Utah Sports Hall of Fame, and in 1975 joined the ranks of other great athletes in the Brigham Young University Athletic Hall of Fame.

Clinton Larson papers, 1892-1975, bulk 1917

Brigham Young University, L. Tom Perry Special Collections worksheet, Oct. 21, 2010 (Clinton Larson; athlete at Brigham Young University; served in World War I; athletic official and organizer in Utah; father of Clinton F. Larson), viewed Oct. 21, 2010 (Clinton Larson; b. Dec. 16, 1892 in St. George, Utah; d. Jan. 22, 1952 in Salt Lake City, Utah)

Information from 678 converted Jan. 5, 2015 (Clinton Larson (1892-1952) was an athlete and athletic organizer in Utah.)

Found in 13 Collections and/or Records:

Lillian Foster Larson scrapbook materials, 1879-1979

 File — Carton 2: [Barcode: 31197233617254], Folder: 7-11
Identifier: MSS 7605
Scope and Contents

includes photographs, certificates, legal documents, scrapbooks, and various memorabilia.

Dates: 1879-1979

Lillian Foster Larson Simonsen journals, 1919-1972

 File — Carton 1: [Barcode: 31197233617262], Folder: 1-11
Identifier: MSS 7605
Scope and Contents

Includes various journals written by Lillian Foster Larson, the majority of which were composed early in her marriage and just following her divorce from Clinton Larson.

Dates: 1919-1972

Lillian Foster Larson Simonsen papers

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MSS 7605
Scope and Contents

The Lillian Foster Larson Simonsen papers include journals, books, correspondence, creative writing samples, and scrapbook materials relating to Lillian Simonsen and her family, primarily her first husband, Clinton Larson, and her son, Clinton Foster Larson. Materials date between 1816 and 1988.

Dates: 1816-1988

Additional filters:

Archival Object 11
Collection 2
Track and field 8
World War, 1914-1918 4
Books 3
Clothing 3
Letters 3