|Birth Day:||May 24, 1875|
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He was educated at Princeton University.
Garrett had an early intensive interest in science, especially in history and archeology, and became an early collector and important donor. He helped to organize and finance an archaeological expedition to Syria, led by Dr. John M. T. Finney. From 1932 to 1939, he was involved with the Committee for the Excavation of Antioch and Its Vicinity both helping to fund the excavations and working on them. Garrett's hobby was collecting medieval and Renaissance manuscripts. Garrett amassed a collection of historical volumes of Western and non-Western manuscripts, fragments, and scrolls, originating from Europe, the Near East, Africa, Asia and Mesoamerica, ca. 1340 B.C. – A.D. 1900s. He inherited his collecting interest from his father, Thomas Harrison Garrett. After his father's sudden death in 1888, Robert spent the following two and a half years traveling extensively with his mother and two brothers, Horatio and John, in Europe and the Near East. During his travels Garrett developed a particular interest in manuscripts and began collecting. He used the text Universal Paleography: or, Facsimiles of Writing of All Nations and Periods by J. B. Silvester (by Sir Frederic Madden, London, 1949–50) as his guide for collecting primary examples of every known type of script.
As an undergraduate, Garrett was primarily a shot-putter, though he also competed in the jumping events. When he decided to compete in the famous first modern Olympic games (First Olympiad) being revived and held in Athens, Greece, in 1896, Professor William Milligan Sloane suggested that Garrett also try the discus. They consulted classical authorities to develop a drawing and Garrett hired a blacksmith to make a discus. It weighed nearly 30 pounds (14 kg) and was impossible to throw any distance, so he gave up on the idea. Garrett paid for his own and three classmates' travel to Athens to compete in the games. Francis Lane would finish third in 100 m, Herbert Jamison finished second in 400 m, and Albert Tyler placed second in pole vault. When Garrett discovered that a real discus weighed less than five pounds, he decided to enter the event for fun.
Through a mayoral appointment, Garrett served as the chairman of the city's Public Improvement Commission. He was also largely responsible for bringing the new Boy Scouts of America youth organization to Baltimore in 1910, shortly after its national establishment and imported from Great Britain with founder . He managed the BSA in Baltimore until his retirement in 1934. In 1919, Garrett gave to the City of Baltimore a tract of land of a city block along East Patapsco Avenue, between Second and Third Streets in its recently annexed Brooklyn neighborhood in South Baltimore to be used as a public park, which was named in his honor.
Garrett was for many years an enthusiastic alumnus and served as trustee of Princeton University and also on the governing board of the Baltimore Museum of Art, founded in 1914 by his aunt Mary Elizabeth Garrett, (1857-1915), and working in the relocation and construction project of their new museum building designed by famous American architect John Russell Pope (1874-1937), on Art Museum Drive, off of North Charles Street, and adjacent to the also newly located Homewood Campus of The Johns Hopkins University. In 1942, Garrett donated his collection of more than 11,000 manuscripts to Princeton University, including the "Aksum Scrolls" and sixteen Byzantine Greek manuscripts, containing rare examples of illuminated Byzantine art.
Garrett helped develop Baltimore's public recreational facilities, many of which were privately funded by himself, colleagues and friends. Garrett organized the Public Athletic League which later merged with a similar earlier Children's Playground Association. He was the first chairman of Baltimore City's Bureau of Recreation, and the first chairman of the City's Board of Park Commissioners for the combined Department of Recreation and Parks. Garrett was through much of his life an active member of the National Recreation Association, and was elected its chairman in 1941.
In the Baltimore mayoral campaign of 1947, both the Republican and Democratic nominees promised that, if elected, they would name Garrett as chairman of the City's Department of Recreation and Parks. A devout Presbyterian throughout his life, he was a member of their national convention - the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in the United States, and was recognized in 1948 as the year's outstanding layperson in the field of religious education by the International Council of Religious Education.
Garrett died on April 25, 1961, in Baltimore, Maryland and was buried with other family members at Baltimore's historic Green Mount Cemetery, where his widow would also be buried by year's end. As noted above, the Garrett Park recreation area in Baltimore City's Brooklyn neighborhood, on East Patapsco Avenue, between Second and Third Streets, was donated and named for him. He donated his papers to Princeton University; the Library of Congress also has family papers.
In the 1984 NBC television two-part multi-episode miniseries, "The First Olympics: Athens 1896", starring Louis Jourdan (1921-2015), as Pierre de Coubertin (1863-1937), the French founder of the modern Olympics and the International Olympic Committee). In the mini-series which aired in the United States in May 1984, Garrett was portrayed by actor Hunt Block (b. 1954). In the second episode, Garrett was incorrectly portrayed as being a participant in the first Olympic Marathon.
Robert grew up in Baltimore County, Maryland.
Currently, Robert Garrett is 147 years, 8 months and 14 days old. Robert Garrett will celebrate 148th birthday on a Wednesday 24th of May 2023. Below we countdown to Robert Garrett upcoming birthday.
Today in History
On May 23, 1618, the Defenestration of Prague took place as Bohemian Protestants angry over what they saw as a threat to their religious freedom threw two Catholic imperial regents and their secretary out an upper-story palace window; the men survived the incident, which helped trigger the Thirty Years' War.