Life of Legendary Frank Shorter!

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The co-founder of the Bolder Boulder, Frank Shorter, is a former long-distance runner. Similarly, he has also served as the chairperson of the United States Anti-Doping Agency.

Furthermore, in 1971, the runner won the marathon and the 10,000-meter race in the Pan American Games. At the 1972 Munich Olympics, Frank Shorter became the first American to win a gold medal in the Olympic marathon.

Similarly, he took silver at the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal. And the list of his achievements goes on; that is why he is a legendary person in the history of long-distance running.

Frank Shorter
Frank Shorter. (Source: Bennett Endurance)

We have some idea about Frank’s career, but what about his childhood, personal life, profession, retirement, and net worth? Today, we discuss the life of Frank and every tiny detail of his personal life as much as possible.

But before we move on with our article, let us have an instant glance at the quick facts.

Quick Facts

Full Name Frank Charles Shorter
Place of Birth Munich, Grman
Date of Birth October 31, 1974
Age Years Old
Religion Christianity
Ethnicity Not Available
Zodiac Sign Scorpio
Nationality American
  • Mount Herman School
  • Yale University
  • University of Florida
Father’s Name Samuel Sanford Shorter
Mother’s Name Kathrine Chappell Shorter
Siblings Ten
Profession Marathon Runner
Eye Color Black
Hair Color Black
Height Five ft. 10 inches (178 cm)
Weight 61 kg (134 lbs)
Sexual orientation Straight
Marital Status Divorced
  • Louise Gilliland
  • Patrica Walford
Children Seven
Net Worth $1 Million-$5 Million
Merch Autograph
Last Updated February 2024

Frank Shorter: Early Life and Education

Frank Charles Shorter was born on October 31, 1947. He was born to Samuel Sanford (father) Shorter and Katherine Chappell Shorter (mother) as their second child. Frank was born and brought up in a big family; apart from him, his parents had ten children. 

Like his father, Shorter was born in Munich, Germany, where his father worked as an army doctor in post-World War II Germany.

In 1994, the whole Shorter family relocated themself to the United States. After a long search, they finally got a place to settle in Middletown, New York, in 1951.

Frank’s childhood was all about traveling and visiting different places. Again in 1965, Frank’s family moved to New Mexico after he became a missionary doctor there.

Shorter had an advantage when he moved to New Mexico because he could practice running in oxygen-poor air at an altitude of 7,000 feet.

Furthermore, Frank Shorter, in one of his interviews, revealed that his father had physically and psychologically tortured him while taking part in a charity run for others who had experienced child abuse.

Apart from that, Frank Shorter went to Mount Hermon School in Massachusetts and completed his primary education there. Besides, to get his bachelor’s degree, Frank went to Yale College located in New Haven. He completed his university with a degree of arts in Psychology.

Shorter also preferred education over anything; even after getting his degree, he joined medical school in 1969. But unfortunately, he couldn’t complete his medical studies as he didn’t have sufficient funds to pay his fees, so he dropped out.

But he didn’t lose hope; in 1974, Frank finally attained a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Florida and completed his dream of getting a doctor’s degree.

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Frank Shorter: Body Measurements

Currently seventy-four years old, Frank celebrates his birthday on the last of October, just after Halloween. 

Moreover, Shorter stands at 5ft. 10 inches tall and weighs around 61 kg. Even at this age, he takes exceptional care of his body and follows a special diet to maintain his body.

Frank Shorter: Career

As mentioned earlier, Frank, from an early age, was very interested in sports, especially running. When he was in the senior year of his school, he was an undefeated cross-country champion. 

Bob Giegengack trained Frank at Yale. Similarly, he qualified with Jack Bachelor as a participant in Jimmy Carnes’ Florida Track Club (FTC). Frank made his way into the 1972 Olympics with dedication and hard work.

Frank Shorter
Frank Shorter is still running and winning. (Source: Record Online)

After winning the 1969 National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) six-mile race during his final year at Yale, Shorter initially garnered fame as a runner. In addition, Frank seized his first American national titles in the three-mile and six-mile distances in 1970.

Besides, the athlete won the American national cross-country title four times in total (1970- 1973). Shorter won four times at the Fukuoka Marathon, the most prestigious race in the world (1971- 1974).

Similarly, in 1975 and 1976, the Olympic runner won the renowned 70-mile Falmouth Road Race in Cape Cod. In 1977, he triumphed in the 10-kilometer Peachtree Road Race in Atlanta.

Olympics and Pan American Championship

The Olympic runner won both the marathon and the 10,000-meter race in the U.S. Olympic Trials in 1972 and 1976.

In the 10,000-meter final, Shorter came in sixth. At the 1972 Munich Olympics, he captured the gold medal in the marathon.

He also became the first American to win the gold medal in the Olympic marathon in 64 years. Likewise, the runner withdrew from the 10,000-meter race in the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal. In addition, the athlete placed second in the marathon.

Like this, Shorter won the marathon and the 10,000-meter race in the 1971 Pan American Games.

The marathon champion also won the 1979 Pan American Games bronze medal.

Personal Best

On December 3, 1972, the long-distance runner ran the Fukuoka Marathon and achieved a new personal best of 2:10.30.

Like this, Shorter achieved his goal of running a 10,000-meter career-best time of 27:45:91 in 1975.

His other best times are 12:50.0 for the 3 miles in 1974 and 13:26.60 for the 5000 meters in 1977.


At the age of 35, the world-class competitor in the marathon retired. But he kept competing in the master’s series far into his forties and fifties.

The seasoned athlete also helped organize the Bolder Boulder, an annual 10-kilometer race in Boulder, Colorado, in 1979. Shorter contributed to the US Anti-Doping Agency’s creation after ending his professional long-distance racing career.

The group is also in charge of overseeing Olympic drug testing. Additionally, from 2000 to 2003, the former runner presided over the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency. Like this, Shorter even started speaking out against using illicit drugs in sports.

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Frank Shorter: Movies and Books

Frank Shorter is not only a remarkable athlete, but he also played a seasoned player in the 1998 movie Without Limits.

Additionally, the movie focused on Steve Prefontaine, Steve Shorter’s contemporaneous training companion, Olympic colleague, and occasionally opponent.

Frank Shorter with his portrait made by a fan. (Source: Yale University)

The seasoned runner has also provided television commentary for track and field events.


Olympic Gold: A Runner’s Life and Times is a book by Frank (1984).

He also wrote “My Marathon: Reflections on Gold Medal Life” similarly.

Additionally, “Through a Child’s Eyes” and “Runner’s World with John Meyer” are works based on Shorter’s life.

The biography of Frank is also the subject of the book “Run For The Ages: Shorter’s Golden Moment in Munich Touched Millions.”

Some of his publications have autographs as well.

Awards and Accolades

Shorter is the only American athlete to have won two medals in the Olympic marathon.

In the same way, Shorter was inducted into the United States Olympic Hall of Fame in 1984.

Additionally, he was inducted into the USA National Track and Field Hall of Fame in 1989 and the National Distance Running Hall in 1998.

In addition, the American amateur athlete who won the marathon was given the James E. Sullivan Award.

A life-size bronze statue of Shorter is also present outside the Bolder Boulder stadium.

The Frank Shorter Track Classic recognizes many Olympians from Boulder each year and commemorates Frank’s achievements as a runner throughout his career.

Similarly, Frank Shorter was honored in 2018 with The Frank Shorter Track Classic.

Similar to how Frank Shorter was recognized as the best distance athlete in American history in 2018 by The Frank Shorter Track Classic. The occasion even boosts Shorter’s physical conditioning.


Frank Shorter: Personal Life

There is not much information about Frank Shorter’s personal life. Frank likes to keep his personal life private and away from the public’s attention. Frank has been married twice in his life, but sadly, non of his marriage lasted long.

Louise Gilliland, Frank’s first wife, and Frank Shorter tied the knot in 1970. But after fifteen years of being together, this couple parted ways in 1985, and nobody still knows why.

On the other hand, for the second time, the runner married Patricia Walford on May 23, 1986, but the union disintegrated in 2000. Besides, Shorter is also the father of seven children. Apart from that, if we find any information about his personal life, we will update you soon.

Frank Shorter: Net Worth

The primary income source of Frank Shorter is the long-distance runner. But unfortunately, nobody knows the exact amount of money that Frank has garnered.

Frank Shorter’s estimated net worth ranges between $1 million and $5 million.

Additionally, he made money as Bolder Boulder’s co-founder and the head of the US Anti-Doping Agency.

Social Media Presence

Unfortunately, Frank Shorter is unavailable on any social media platforms. However, if you want to know more about Frank, you can find any information about him on the internet.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Norbert Sudhaus, who was he?

Norbert Sudhaus, a West German student impersonating Shorter, entered the Olympic Stadium first, detracting from Shorter’s greatest triumph at the Munich Games.

Has shorter had injuries during his time running?

Only Shorter’s track performances had been impacted by his central foot and back problems in 1979.

What kind of diet did Frank follow when he ran?

Marathon champion Shorter relied on Ring-Dings and Schlitz beer for his running diet.

Miss. KeCy
Miss. KeCy

Anusha K.C

Anusha K.C is a dynamic writer with a keen interest in uncovering the stories that lie beneath the surface of the sports world. Her articles offer readers a fresh perspective on athletes and sporting events, blending insightful analysis with engaging storytelling.


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  • Anusha shares inspiring stories of athletes who have overcome adversity to achieve success.
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Anusha's passion for sports journalism is rooted in a love of competition and a fascination with the human stories behind athletic achievement. With a background in writing and a keen eye for detail, she brings a unique perspective to her articles, capturing the excitement and emotion of sports with depth and insight.

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