Don Bragg, who was denied his dream of playing Tarzan in the movies but parlayed his imposing physique into a gold medal in the pole vault at the 1960 Rome Olympics, died on Saturday at his home in Oakley, Calif., near San Francisco. He was 83.
His wife, Theresa Bragg, confirmed the death. She said he had been in failing health since having a stroke 10 years ago.
Competing in the era of relatively rigid aluminum poles, which required superior upper-body strength, the muscular Bragg, a 6-foot-3 200-pounder, dominated the pole vault in the late 1950s.