Bud Greenspan: Film-maker who chronicled American participation in the Olympic Games

Click to follow
The Independent Online

Bud Greenspan, who died on 25 December aged 84, was a film-maker who chronicled American participation in the Olympic Games over the course of several decades. His most recent work, about the 2010 Vancouver Winter Games, will be ready for release in the coming weeks.

As a 21-year-old radio reporter, Greenspan (right, AP) filed his first Olympic story from Wembley during the 1948 London Games. He cut a distinct figure at nearly every Summer and Winter Games thereafter, his glasses perched on top of his bald head.

His career took off with a 1964 film about Jesse Owens returning to the scene of his Olympic gold-medal achievements in Berlin in 1936. But he never lost his love for the smallest victories as well, citing a last-place finish by the Tanzanian marathoner John Stephen Ahkwari at Mexico City in 1968 as his favourite Olympic moment.

His best-known work was the 10-part television series The Olympiad, the culmination of 10 years of research that was aired in more than 80 countries.

Born Joseph Greenspan, the native New Yorker also wrote books, produced nearly 20 spoken-word albums and was an avid tennis player into his 70s.