Norman Armitage (January 1, 1907, as Norman Cohn, in Albany, New York – March 14, 1972; Columbia University 1930), was an American saber fencer.

Early life

Armitage, who was Jewish,[1] was born in Albany, New York.

Fencing career


Armitage began fencing when he was a student at Columbia University. He won the 1928 Intercollegiate Fencing Association sabre championship.[2]

National sabre championships

In won 10 times in 25 appearances at the national championships: in 1930, from 1934 to 1936, from 1939 to 1943, and in 1945.[2] He holds 17 national championship titles, more than any other US sabre fencer.[3]


Armitage competed in six Olympics, 1928–36 and 1948–56, only taking a break for World War II. He competed in the Olympics over a 28-year span.[4] He carried the U.S. flag in the Olympic opening ceremony in 1948, 1952, and 1956.[2]

At the 1928 Summer Olympics, he competed (as Norman Cohn) in the individual and team events. The American team was eliminated in the first round, and Armitage reached the semifinals in individual sabre. At the 1932 Summer Olympics, he reached the finals in the team event and finished fourth. In individual sabre, he placed ninth.[5]

Armitage competed at the 1936 Summer Olympics in spite of severe chemical burns on his right hand suffered in January of that year. (He was a chemical engineer and later a patent attorney.)[2] He reached the semifinals in individual sabre, and placed fifth in the team sabre event.[5]

He won his only medal, a bronze, at the 1948 Summer Olympics, in the team sabre event.[6][7]

At the 1952 Summer Olympics, Armitage competed in the team sabre event but not the individual sabre. They finished fourth.[5]

Hall of Fame

Armitage was the first person to be inducted into the USFA Hall of Fame, in 1963.


  1. ^ Paul Taylor (2004). Jews and the Olympic Games: The Clash Between Sport and Politics : with a Complete Review of Jewish Olympic Medallists. Sussex Academic Press. p. 224. ISBN 9781903900871. Retrieved March 2, 2015. 
  2. ^ a b c d "Armitage, Norman C.". July 3, 2004. Archived from the original on November 9, 2006. Retrieved July 14, 2015. 
  3. ^ "US National Sabre Champions: National Champions 1888 – 2000: Men's Sabre". Fairfield Avenue School of Fencing. Archived from the original on March 30, 2005. 
  4. ^ "Norman Cohn-Armitage". Retrieved July 14, 2015. 
  5. ^ a b c "Armitage, Norman (Norman C. Cohn)". Jews In Sports. Retrieved July 14, 2015. 
  6. ^ "Olympics Statistics: Norman Armitage". Retrieved May 1, 2010. 
  7. ^ "Norman Armitage Olympic Results". Retrieved May 1, 2010. 

External links

Olympic Games
Preceded by
Ralph Craig
Flagbearer for  United States
Helsinki 1952
Succeeded by
Norman Cohn-Armitage
Olympic Games
Preceded by
Norman Cohn-Armitage
Flagbearer for  United States
Melbourne 1956
Succeeded by
Rafer Johnson