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Lillian Copeland

(1904 - 1964)


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Copeland was born in New York to Minnie Drasnin, a Polish immigrant. 

After her father died, she was raised by her mother and step-father Abraham Copeland in Los Angeles, California.  A four-time national champion in shot put, Copeland switched to the discuss throw and set a new world record at the 1928 Olympic trials.  She was the first women to win a silver medal for the discus throw and later broke the Olympic and world records to win a gold at the 1932 Olympics. 

She played in the 1935 (Second) World Maccabiah games but boycotted the 1936 Olympics in Berlin.  A law school graduate, Copeland joined the Los Angeles county Sheriff's Department in 1936 and worked there until her retirement in 1960.


Sources: Jewish Women's Archive

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