Bob Moch, 90; Coxswain of Gold Medal-Winning Crew at '36 Olympics

From Times Staff and Wire Reports

Bob Moch, 90, coxswain of the University of Washington eight-oar crew that came from behind to win the gold medal at the 1936 Summer Olympics in Berlin, died Tuesday in Issaquah, Wash., of complications from a stroke.

In 1936, Moch and his crew were in Lane 6 -- the lane with the choppiest water and farthest from the starter -- for the climactic race on Lake Grunau.

The team didn't hear the start and was in last place with less than half of the 2,000-meter race remaining. But Moch rallied his teammates, and they passed Germany in the last 10 strokes to win by 0.6 seconds over second-place Italy.

"That was a major thing in his life. Everybody wanted to know about it and talk to him about it," said his wife, LaVerne Moch.

Born and reared in Montesano, Wash., Moch later coached crew at MIT while he attended law school at Harvard. After returning to Seattle, he practiced law there for 55 years.

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