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HENNIG, EDWARD A.

HENNIG, EDWARD A. (Oct. 1879-28 Aug. 1960) was a leading amateur athlete and the first Cleveland athlete to participate in the Olympics. Son of Fred K.E. and Johannah (Goernnes) Hennig, he was an active gymnast from age 8, when a doctor recommended he take up gymnastic exercise to build himself up. Twice a week he walked 4 mi. to a gymnasium downtown. He was a member of the Cleveland East Side Turners for 73 years and of Central YMCA for nearly 60 years. Hennig was one of 496 athletes from 10 countries to participate in the 1904 Olympic Games in St. Louis. He captured top honors in 2 events, winning the gold medal in Indian club swinging (since discontinued) and finished in a first place tie in the horizontal bars with American Anton Heida. Hennig also competed in national Amateur Athletic Union competitions, winning first place for both Indian club swinging and the horizontal bars in the 1911 competition; and winning 10 first-place and 3 second-place medals in AAU contests between 1933-50. Throughout his athletic career, Hennig won 14 national AAU championships and 3 national Turner titles. He was voted outstanding amateur athlete in northeastern Ohio in 1942, when he was 62. He was later inducted into the GREATER CLEVELAND SPORTS HALL OF FAME. An engineer by trade, Hennig was employed by the McMeyer Interstate Corp., builders of hoist machines, and later became chief engineer for the R. A. Kaltenbach Corp., engineering consultants.

Hennig married Alma Warnke on 23 Oct. 1906. They had three children: Erla (Krueger), Lois (Curtis), and Janet (Perryman).