- Category : Sports-Track-and-Field
- Type : ME
- Profile : 4/6 - Opportunistic / Role Model
- Definition : Single
- Incarnation Cross : RAX Tension 2
American Olympian in track and field; he won the gold at the 1936 games.
Woodruff was a noted athlete even in high school when he got national attention after he ran 880 yards in under two minutes, and did so twice in the same week. He attended the University of Pittsburgh, and, in 1936, made the Olympic team, competing in Berlin as Hitler was on the march. An inexperienced Olympian, he came from behind to win his gold medal.
He competed from 1937-1940, winning other titles. In 1940, he ran 800 meters in 1 minute, 48.6 seconds, setting a record that lasted 12 years.
After he graduated from college, he made a career in the Army, where he served in WWII and in Korea. He retired as a lieutenant colonel.
He and his first wife had two children, a daughter Randy and a son John Jr. He married for the second time in 1970.
He went on to coach young athletes and officiated at trac meets at Madison Square Garden, NY. He was inducted to the National Track and Field Hall of Fame and was a charter member of the Penn Relays Wall of Fame at the University of Pennsylvania.
As his health failed and he suffered from circulatory problems, he became a double amputee. In 2003 he and his wife entered an assistant-living facility in Fountain Hills, AZ.
He died at age 92 in Fountain Hills, AZ on October 30, 2007 of atrial fibrillation and chronic renal failure.