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Eleanor Egg

Sport: Track & Field

Born: February 3, 1909

Died: October 27, 1999

Town: Paterson

Eleanor Marie Egg was born February 3, 1909, in Paterson. As a child, she worked as an acrobat in her parents' Vaudeville act. Eleanor would balance atop a 10-foot pole that balanced on her father's chin. The family stopped touring when she was eight. She went to public schools, competing in several different sports.

In 1923, Eleanor began her track and field career with the Paterson Girls' Recreation Program. Two years later, her team set an outdoor world record for the 4 x 100 relay. She later competed in the broad jump, setting a record in 1927. Eleanor was supposed to compete for the 1928 U.S. Olympic team, but she injured her ankle. Nonetheless, she became the city's most celebrated athlete in the years that followed. Paterson's major industry —silk production—took a big hit in the 1920s after the development of synthetic fabric, and suffered more during the Depression. She was a hug morale-booster for Paterson. Her celebrity was a major reason why the city built Hinchcliffe Stadium.

Eleanor commonly ran in the 100-yard dash, and competed in the shot put. At a national meet held in Jersey City in 1931, she defeated the famous defending champion Stella Walsh in the 100-yard dash. The city of Paterson honored her with a dinner and a commemorative plaque. The community always supported her, even raising money for her and her teammates to travel to out-of-state meets. Soon after, Eleanor reinjured her ankle, killing any chance she had of qualifying for the 1932 Olympics and effectively putting an end to her athletic career.

Eleanor won over 250 medals and trophies in local, regional, and national Amateur Athletic Union competitions through the Paterson Girls' Recreation Association and the Duffy League. After her retirement, Eleanor coached a local girls' track club for several years. She married Charles Krattiger in 1935, and decided to become a dance instructor. She taught dance for the next 40 years at different studios, including her own. Eleanor also took up oil painting as a hobby. She died October 27, 1999 when she was 90. A bronze bas-relief statue of Eleanor sculpted by Gaetano Federici stands in Hinchcliffe Stadium.

 

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