Obituary from the Daily Southtown Friday, May 21, 1999
Elizabeth Robinson Schwartz,
track star, local native, dies at 87
First woman to win
|and field career at Thornton High School in Harvey.
Her biology teacher at the time was on a commuter train when he saw her running to catch
the train. Astounded at the girl's speed, he suggested that they start training together,
Rick Schwartz said.
The 100-meter Olympic race in Amsterdam was Mrs. Schwartz's fourth competitive race.
"I can remember standing in the middle of the field after the race and seeing the American flag raised and hearing the 'Star Spangled Banner' and all the people singing it," Mrs. Schwartz said in a 1988 interview. "Then I walked off the field and just kind of enjoyed the feeling."
Mrs. Schwartz's track and field career nearly ended in 1931
|when she was seriously injured in a plane crash south
of Chicago. Doctors said she wouldn't walk, according to her son. She began training again
However, she was no longer able to crouch down for the sprint position. She started running relays instead.
Mrs. Schwartz retired from track shortly after the 1936 Olympics. She married Richard Schwartz in 1939 and often traveled the country speaking on behalf of the Women's Athletic Association and the Girls' Athletic Association.
Besides her son, Mrs. Schwartz is also survived by a daughter and three grandchildren. Services will be private.
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October 3, 2000
Updated: December 19, 2013