Monday, April 21, 2014

52 Ancestors #17: Joseph Foreman (1933-1999): Track Star, Olympian and Lawyer .

No Story Too Small has issued a New Year's Challenge: "Have one blog post each week devoted to a specific ancestor. It could be a story, a biography, a photograph, an outline of a research problem — anything that focuses on one ancestor.” 

This blog post is about my husband's uncle Joseph Foreman who was a track star,  Olympian athlete and lawyer in Sarnia, Ontario.

Joe Foreman represented team Canada as a sprinter in the
1956 Melbourne Olympics before he became
one of Sarnia's most prominent lawyers.

He was born in Mimico the son of Donald Jennings and Rita Foreman. He had two brothers (Tom and Pete) and was raised in New Toronto and Mimico Ontario.

The three Foreman brothers

The three Foreman brothers
According to an article in 2012 (the Sarnia Observer) "Joe attended high school at St. Michael’s College School -famed for its sporting excellence. His athletic prowess at St. Michael’s - including Ontario and Canadian junior championships - helped him earn a scholarship to Notre Dame, one of his most-cherished achievements."

St Michael's 1954
St Michael's College senior A Football
The Kerry Blues 1954

St. Michael's College Tower 1954

The Melbourne Summer Olympics 1956

In track: "He tied legendary Canadian Olympic champion Percy Williams' record for the 100-metre dash in 1955, then established a national record in the 200-metre dash that stood for five years." (Source Toronto Star)

Joe Foreman had the following podium finishes at major championships prior to the 1956 Olympics:

Personal Bests:
  • 100 - 10.6 (1956);
  • 200 - 21.5y (1954).

The Notre Dame Years 1957-58

"It was his connection to St. Michael’s that would lead him to Sarnia in 1972 to defend a former St. Michael’s priest in a legal battle in town. After the much-publicized case, Foreman was aggressively pursued by local law firms, and settled his practice in Sarnia in 1973."

" Foreman died in an automobile accident in 1999 at the age of 63, but the Foreman traditions live on in his son. Jonathan Foreman is a class-action lawyer in London, a former runner and track captain at Western University."

" And to commemorate Foreman’s competitive spirit, Sylvia and Jonathan inscribed the Olympic motto on his tombstone. It reads ‘Citius, Altius, Fortius.’ Faster, higher, stronger."


The three Foreman brothers (early 1990s - Joe in the centre)

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