Begin New Search
Refine Last Search
Cemetery Lookup
Add Burial Records
Help with Find A Grave

Find all Lashs in:
 • Rush Creek Cemetery
 • Tangier
 • Parke County
 • Indiana
 • Find A Grave

Top Contributors
Success Stories
Discussion Forums
Find A Grave Store

Log In
Donald Ray Lash
Birth: Aug. 15, 1912
Wells County
Indiana, USA
Death: Sep. 19, 1994
Terre Haute
Vigo County
Indiana, USA

World-class long-distance runner who broke Paavo Nurmi's record for the two-mile run; winner of the 1938 James E. Sullivan Award as the top amateur athlete in the United States. A 1988 article in Sports Illustrated called him "the first great American long-distance runner," and "possibly the best U.S. cross-country runner ever." Born in Bluffton, Indiana, Don Lash was one of several children of Brandon R. Lash and Pearl Landis Lash. He grew up in Auburn, Indiana, where he graduated from high school in 1933 after setting an Indiana state record of 4:30.5 for the indoor mile. As a student at Indiana University, he set a U.S. record of 31:06.9 for 10,000 meters. In June 1936, he broke Nurmi's 1931 world record for the two-mile, running 8:58.4, besting Nurmi's time by 1.2 seconds. He was also NCAA 5,000-meter champion and AAU three-mile and six-mile champion in 1936. Competing for the United States at the 1936 Summer Olympics, however, he placed only 13th in the 5,000-meter and only eighth in the 10,000-meter. From 1934 to 1940, he won seven consecutive U.S. national cross-county titles. Lash also won the AAU indoor three-mile championship in 1938 and 1939 and the six-mile title in 1940. Lash's professional career was primarily in law enforcement. He became an Indiana State Trooper in 1938 and joined the Federal Bureau of Investigation as an agent in 1941. He retired from the FBI in 1962 to become director of a five-state region for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and appeared frequently as a motivational speaker. In 1966, he started a boys' camp near Marshall, Indiana, that grew into the National Conference Center of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. Lash opened a real estate business in Rockville, Indiana, in 1973. A Republican, he was elected to five terms (1973-1982) in the Indiana House of Representatives. Lash married Margaret May Mendenhall in 1938. They had a daughter, Marguerite, and two sons, Russell and David. Lash died of spinal cancer at Union Hospital in Terre Haute, Indiana. He was inducted into the USA Track and Field Hall of Fame in 1995. Don Lash Park in Auburn, Indiana, is named for him. (bio by: Michael Walter) 
Rush Creek Cemetery
Parke County
Indiana, USA
Plot: Section 2
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Originally Created by: Michael Walter
Record added: Jan 23, 2006
Find A Grave Memorial# 13100086
Donald Ray Lash
Added by: Michael Walter
Donald Ray Lash
Added by:
Donald Ray Lash
Added by:
There is 1 more photo not showing...
Click here to view all images...
Photos may be scaled.
Click on image for full size.

- Captain Robert W. Cannon; Retired
 Added: Jan. 3, 2014

- Jackie Howard
 Added: Aug. 15, 2013

- BigLebo
 Added: Jan. 23, 2013
There are 15 more notes not showing...
Click here to view all notes...
Do you have a photo to add? Click here
How famous was this person?
Current ranking for this person: (3.8 after 12 votes)

Privacy Statement and Terms of Service