Dernell Every is a national champion in fencing, former President of the AFLA and a 1994 NYAC Hall of Fame inductee.
Every was born on August 18, 1906 in Athens, NY.
Every didn’t begin fencing until he was a freshman at Yale, but was nevertheless selected to his first Olympic Games in 1928, when he was still an undergraduate. He would go on to compete in the 1932 and 1948 Games as well; he would also have competed in 1936, but was forced to withdraw for personal reasons.
In 1932, Every finished in fourth place in the individual foil, narrowly missing out on the gold medal match. He would, however, add a bronze medal in the team foil competition.
Starting in 1941, Every began taking a big hand in the administration of American fencing. That year, he was elected as Secretary of the AFLA – now known as USA Fencing, the sport’s national governing body – and also worked as the editor of the AFLA’s publication, “The Riposte.” He held both positions until 1945, when he assumed the presidency of the AFLA, becoming the second NYAC member to do so after Dr Graeme Hammond (past NYAC president and fellow Hall of Fame inductee). Every is credited with leading American fencing through the difficult years after World War II, during which time the sport grew in popularity.
The demands of his job did little to diminish Every's passion for the sport. Not even old age could keep him from competing, continuing to do so up until a week prior to his death, in spite of a broken hip he suffered when he was 80.
Every passed away on September 11th, 1994 at the age of 88.