Richard P. Shearman
Richard P. Shearman is the third Chautauqua Sports Hall of Fame inductee to have won an Olympic Gold Medal. Shearman, who won his prize as the manager of the 1952 USA Speed Skating Team at the 1952 Oslo games, joins Jenn Suhr, winner of the pole vault at the 2012 London games, and Tara VanDerveer, coach of the USA women’s basketball team at the 1996 Atlanta games, as Olympic Gold Medalists in the CSHOF.
Shearman was born in Jamestown in 1902 and lived in that city until 1955. Richard, who was better known as Dick or “Handlebars” because of his prominent, flowing, well-manicured mustache, was the secretary and plant manager of Shearman Brothers Company. The manufacturers of upholstered furniture, Shearman Brothers, was founded by his grandfather Rufus and Rufus’ brother Addison Shearman in 1880. Dick’s father, Frank, purchased controlling interest in 1912. The firm later bought Maddox Table Company.
Shearman’s sports interests were many and varied encompassing sailing, skating, baseball, football and bobsledding. For many years he was an avid supporter and booster of the Jamestown Falcons baseball team in the PONY League. He was also a prime mover in the St. Bonaventure Football Boosters Club.