Don Bragg was the last of the great pre-fiberglass pole vaulters. He won the 1960 Final Trials with a new world record of 15-9¼ (4.80) and this remains a world “best” with a metal pole.
Bragg had won the 1959 Pan American Games, the 1959 AAU outdoor and, after sharing first place at the AAU indoor in 1956 and 1958, he was an outright winner in 1959-1961. While at Villanova, he won the NCAA in 1955 and was IC4A champion, both indoors and out, for three successive years (1955-57).
Don Bragg earned the nickname “Tarzan” as a result of his life-long dream to play that role in the movies. After his Olympic victory his plans were thwarted by injury, legal problems, and scandal. He did play the role in one movie but it was never released. After his dreams of movie stardom faded, Tarzan Bragg became athletic director at Stockton State (NJ) College and the owner of a boys’ summer camp near the school.
Personal Best: PV – 4.81i (1959).