Dr Graeme Hammond is an Olympian in fencing (1912, Stockholm), a former NYAC president and a 1982 Hall of Fame inductee.
Graeme Hammond was born on February 1st, 1858. Because his father was Surgeon General of the US Army, Hammond grew up in Washington, D.C., during the Civil War. He recalled joining his father and President Abraham Lincoln to visit wounded soldiers on numerous occasions. Hammond would often accompany the President on strolls throughout the Capital and said that he and Lincoln were “playfellows."
Hammond graduated from Columbia in 1887 and earned his MD from the NYU College of Medicine in 1891, where he later became a professor of mental and nervous disorders. Hammond believed that exercise was a key component of maintaining mental health. As such, Hammond exercised regularly and engaged in athletics throughout his life. Hammond was a particularly skilled fencer and was also heavily involved in promoting the sport in the United States.
Hammond was the AAU national foil champion in 1891 and the national epee champion in 1889 and 1891. Additionally, he was an Olympian at the 1912 Games in Stockholm, where he competed in the men’s individual epee and foil events at the remarkable age of 54.
In 1891, Graeme Hammond helped found the Amateur Fencers League of America. He was elected the first president of the organization, which is now recognized as USA Fencing: the sport’s current governing body. Due to his role in the formation of the AFLA, Hammond has been referred to as the father of American fencing.
Hammond was elected president of the New York Athletic Club in 1916 and served until 1919. He simultaneously served as a Major in the Medical Reserve Corps of the United States Army, performing medical exams on American soldiers bound for WWI. Because he was stationed at Camp Upton and Camp Merritt, both located on Long Island, Hammond was still able to serve as President of the NYAC.
Hammond kept up an intense exercise regimen until the end of his life. Three times a week, he would go for a three-mile run on the track in the NYAC gymnasium. To celebrate his 80th birthday, he decided to run four.
Graeme Hammond died in 1944 at the age of 86.