Walter Walsh, Olympian shooter from 1940s to 1970s, dies in Northern Virginia at 106
(WJLA) - The world's oldest Olympian passed away in his Northern Virginia home on Tuesday, just six days shy of his 107th birthday.
Walter Walsh, a competitive shooter, first competed in the 1948 Olympics in the Men's 50m Free Pistol event, taking 12th place. At the 1952 International Shooting Sport Federation World Shooting Championships, he won a gold medal with the U.S. team in the 25m Center-Fire Pistol event and was a silver medalist in the individual event as well.
He also competed in Olympic games and world championship competitions through the 60s and 70s.
Walsh was also a tireless public servant, serving in the Marine Corps Reserve as well as working as an FBI agent for many years, helping to take down notorious gangsters such as Al Brady and the infamous Brady Gang, James Dalhover, Rusty Gibson, and the Barker Gang. He went on to work as a Marine shooting instructor for 20 years.
The USA Shooting Hall of Fame inducted Walsh along with Pat "Spurgin" Pitney into its ranks at an induction ceremony Sept. 21, 2013 in Colorado Springs.
"Clear and simple, Walter Walsh is an American Hero - all parts athlete, warrior, lawmaker, coach, husband and father," USA Shooting representatives said in a statement this week.
On the occasion of hearing his father had been inducted into USA Shooting's Hall of Fame last year, his son and one of five children, Walter Walsh, Jr., had this to say in his honor:
"Dad never attached much importance to praise or sought it. His typical comment at such times was, 'I was just one who was at that place and time to do a job as well as I could, nothing more.'"
"He strove to be the Olympian - Citius, Altius, Fortius - but was as gracious in losing as winning," Walsh Jr. continued. "Happily, his children, grands and greats, share in the recognition of who Dad is, his accomplishments and importantly, his consistent moral character that established a high standard for us."
Walsh was married for 43 years; his wife passed away in 1980. They had five children together — three daughters and two sons. The family counts 17 grandchildren and 23 great-grandchildren.
Read more about the life of Walter Walsh on the USA Shooting website.