was born on 30th April 1896 the youngest son on John Slater and
Louise (nee Chenery). His father, who was born in
, was a sea captain and died in 1908 after contracting a fever at Delagoa Bay in
on the ship Charmer. He was educated at
Colby and his brother Norman in the 1913 Berkeley High School Rugby XV.
Interscholastic Champions of
. 1 Boulware, (Coach), 2 Hills, 3 Haynes, 4 Reimers, 5 Johnson, 6 H.Vilas, 7
C.Slater, 8 N.Slater, 9 Shuman, 10 Anderson, 11 S.Forbes, 12 W.Montgomery, 13
Laser, 14 R.Forbes, 15 Mackie, 16 Valentine (Manager), 17 Carlton, 18 R.Vilas,
19 Clopton, 20 Knowles (Captain), 21 D.Montgomery, 22 Bond.
of building showing toppled chimneys after the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake.
graduation in 1917, “Babe” enlisted in the United States Army and served
with the Medical Corps in
during World War I. After the war, he raised sheep, hogs, and feed in
E. "Babe" Slater (1896-1965) was the first
alumnus to win an Olympic gold medal. Slater graduated from the
) in 1917.
played on the U.S. Olympic Rugby Team and won gold medals for rugby in 1920 and
1924. At the 1924 Paris Olympic Games, he captained the inexperienced U.S. Rugby
Team which beat
in the final to win the gold. The disappointed French fans rioted in the stands
and since that time rugby has not been an Olympic event.
Colby Edward Slater
Slater only played in two internationals for the
in the 1920 and 1924 Olympic finals against
. In the second match he was captain.
Olympic Team (L-R) Back Row: Wallace, Patrick, O’Neil, Fish, J Muldoon,
Fitzpatrick, Slater, Righter. Middle
Row: Meehan, Hazeltine, Maloney (trainer), Tilden (c), Carroll (pl/coach), W
Muldoon, von Schmidt, Scholz. Front Row: Wrenn, Doe, Hunter, Davis, Winston.
Missing: Templeton, Kirksey
squad training in
before Olympic Games in
. Photo taken at Plymouth Rugby Club. Back Row (L-R): Sam Goodman (Manager),
Valentine, Cashel, Williams, B, Slater (Cpt), Farish, Clark, Patrick, N. Slater,
DeGroot, Charles Austin (Coach) Middle Row: Graff, Turkington, Deveraux,
Mannelli, Doe, Cunningham,
. Front Row: Rogers, Hyland, Hunter, O'Neill, Cleveland, Muldoon, Scholz.
the 1924 US team with American soprano Luella Melius, mascot and Colby at the
brother Norman also appeared in the 1924
returning from the Olympic Games, Slater bought land
, where he farmed for many years.
Above a 1960s Slater reunion (L-R)
, Marguerite, James Herbert & Colby (image courtesy of James Edward Slater
and Daniella Thompson)
died on 30th January 1965 in
two gold medals. Now on show at the entrance to the Activities
and Recreation Centre at the
Slater-Irving connection was sealed in Paraffine
the Colby E. Slater Collection at
Slater’s house is an early Classic Colonial
at the Olympics
cover of book For The Glory
For The Glory. Mark Ryan.
Published September 2009
The Glory is the true story of Babe Slater and Rudy Scholz. Opposites in many
ways, they starred in the
Olympic rugby teams that shocked the world by winning gold medals at the
Antwerp Games of 1920 and the Paris Games of 1924.
required nerve for quiet farmer Babe to return to
just two years after witnessing the horrors of World War One. Rudy had been
desperate to play a part in that war but had missed out on the action.
was more frustration for little Scholz, by now a silver-tongued lawyer, when
gentle giant Slater was elected 1924 US rugby captain ahead of him. Rudy
didn’t even want to play in the
showdown against the French favourites at the so-called ‘Chariots of Fire’
happened to bring Rudy back into line just before the French turned the 1924
Olympic final into a bloody riot? How did Scholz cope when he was finally
confronted by the horrors of war on Okinawa during World War Two, and how did he
manage to play rugby until he was 83?
about the extraordinary experiences of Rudy and Babe, then decide for yourself
where the glory lies – in sport or war.
Ryan is a writer and sports journalist. His books include Justine Henin: From
Tragedy to Triumph and Fabio Capello: The Man, The Dream, The Inside Story, both
published by JR Books, as well as The Hornet’s Sting: The Amazing Untold Story
of Second World War Spy Thomas Sneum.