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Kathrine Switzer Papers

A description of her papers at Syracuse University

Finding aid created by: MRR
Date: 15 Jun 2006

Biographical History

Kathrine Switzer (1947- ) is a pioneer in women's distance running.

Born in 1947, Switzer received her BA and MS from Syracuse University's Newhouse School of Public Communications (1968). In 1967 she was the first woman to run the Boston Marathon wearing an official race number (attempts by race officials to physically remove her from the race were thwarted by her supporters). Soon after that, she created and served as director of the Avon Running Program, a 26 race, 16 country circuit for women's 10K runs and 5K walks. In 1974, she won the New York City Marathon, and her work with Avon in the early 1980s strongly influenced Olympic officials in their decision to include the women's marathon event in the 1984 Olympic Games. In 1986, Switzer formed her own company, AtAlanta Sports Promotion, Inc. She has worked as a broadcast journalist, fitness expert, writer and public speaker, and as a sports commentator for ABC, NBC, CBS, Turner Sports Broadcasting, the Olympic Games and the Goodwill Games. Switzer has competed in 35 Marathons and in 1975 was ranked sixth in the world and third in the U.S.

She has written two books and is currently (2006) at work on an autobiography. She has received numerous citations and awards for her efforts in advancing sports opportunities for women, including a New York States Regents Medal of Excellence (1985) and Female Runner of the Decade by Runner's World Magazine. She was inducted into the National Distance Running Hall of Fame in 1998.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

As of June 2006, the collection consists of awards and other memorabilia but is expected to grow to include papers, correspondence and other material.


Access Restrictions:

The collection is currently unprocessed and not available for research. Please contact Special Collections Research Center for more information.

Use Restrictions:

Written permission must be obtained from SCRC and all relevant rights holders before publishing quotations, excerpts or images from any materials in this collection.

Subject Headings


Switzer, Kathrine.

Corporate Bodies

Boston Marathon.


Runners (Sports)
Sports promoters.
Women athletes.
Women broadcasters.
Women runners.

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

Kathrine Switzer Papers,
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Acquisition Information

Gift of Kathrine Switzer, 2006-

Table of Contents


An itemized inventory has not yet been created for this collection.