George Monroe “The Iceman” Woolf

George Monroe “The Iceman” Woolf

Cardston, Claresholm Census Division, Alberta, Canada
Death 3 Jan 1946 (aged 35)
Arcadia, Los Angeles County, California, USA
Burial Glendale, Los Angeles County, California, USA
Plot The Great Mausoleum, Gardenia Terrace, the Sanctuary of Providence, Mausoleum Crypt 9707
Memorial ID 7786377 · View Source
Suggest Edits

Race Horse Jockey. Nicknamed "Iceman" because of his steady nerves and flawless sense of timing, he was born on a ranch in Alberta, Canada. He received his start competing in races at bush tracks and across the border at Montana fairs while a teenager. He suffered from diabetes and had to regulate his diet and exercise which limited his number of mounts. He rode some of the finest horses of his era but considered Seabiscuit the best of all. In the 1938 Hollywood Gold Cup, he brought Seabiscuit from 14 lengths back to win the race. He was the nation's leading stakes-winning jockey from 1942 to 1944. Tragedy struck in the late afternoon during the fourth race at Santa Anita Park on January 3, 1946. George Woolf, aboard "Please Me," was rounding the club house turn when fans saw him slip from the saddle probably unconscious, a symptom of dieting and diabetes, pitching the famed jockey head first into the ground before a stunned crowd. He was taken to St. Luke's Hospital in Pasadena with a brain concussion, and died the next morning. He was enshrined in the Thoroughbred Racing Hall Of Fame in 1955 and the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame in 1976. His greatest honor was the establishment in 1985 of the "George Woolf Jockey Award" which by a jockey vote nationwide determines the best rider of the year and is racing's most prestigious accolade. His death led to the introduction of the Caliente Safety Helmet that is now mandatory riding equipment. In a church service attended by 1,500 people, Gene Autry added to the sadness with his singing of the western song "Empty Saddles in the Old Corral."

Bio by: Donald Greyfield

Family Members




How famous was George Monroe “The Iceman” Woolf?

Current rating:

65 votes

to cast your vote.

  • Maintained by: Find a Grave
  • Originally Created by: Theologianthespian
  • Added: 22 Aug 2003
  • Find a Grave Memorial 7786377
  • Find a Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for George Monroe “The Iceman” Woolf (31 May 1910–3 Jan 1946), Find a Grave Memorial no. 7786377, citing Forest Lawn Memorial Park (Glendale), Glendale, Los Angeles County, California, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .