Jack Lovelock running

Jack Lovelock (right) and American rival Bill Bonthron

Jack Lovelock was one of the world’s great sportsmen. In the 1930’s he dominated middle distance running, breaking the world mile record in 1933. Lovelock then won the Olympic 1500m gold medal in world record time in front of Hitler in 1936. “Come on Jack!” shouted the no longer unbiased BBC commentator as Lovelock approached the finishing line. See the race here.

Although famous for his running, few know much about Lovelock’s life overall, from his boyhood in New Zealand to a Rhodes scholarship at Oxford University, then becoming a journalist and doctor. But at the age of only 39, he was killed when he fell beneath a subway train.

A new biography debunks many of the myths about Jack Lovelock, with a comprehensive and objective investigation of this remarkable New Zealander. Jack Lovelock – Athlete and Doctor is written by Dr Graeme Woodfield, an old boy of the same high school which Lovelock attended. This biography also draws on contributions from several medical specialists.

Jack Lovelock - DoctorThe many facets of Jack Lovelock are examined – athlete, doctor, journalist, soldier and family man. As well as dealing with Lovelock’s superb running and under-rated medical, military and journalistic contributions, Dr Woodfield has dealt extensively with the accidents that affected his life after 1940.

The suicide theory has been dealt with thoroughly. Here is the definitive, comprehensive and readable account of the astonishing Jack Lovelock.

See also a 16 minute film from New Zealand on Air.