Robert “Bob” Bennett was born in Providence on August 8, 1919 to George E. and Margaret T. (Martin) Bennett; however, he grew up in Cranston and graduated from Cranston High School in 1937. Always involved in sports, Bob was an all-state football and track star at Cranston High School. He studied at the University of Maine where in 1940 he was national champion in the hammer throw and named to the All-American college track team. He left college to work at Quonset Naval Air Station during World War II in the drafting program. After the war he transferred to Brown University where he gained further athletic honors. Bob set the Brown track record of 179’8″ in the hammer throw and was again the national champion and earned All-American honors.
He was voted the outstanding New England amateur athlete in 1947and was the regional candidate for the Sullivan Award, given annually to the outstanding athlete in the country. In 1948 he competed in the summer Olympics in London, England where he won the bronze medal in the hammer throw. He was named assistant track coach at West Point in 1948 but he returned to Brown University as assistant track coach before becoming the school’s business manager. He was a member of the Brown University Athletic Hall of Fame.
He was married to Elsie (Sheahan). Bob died on December 13, 1974 and was survived by his wife and their three daughters.
Russell J. DeSimone with contributions from the Providence Journal.