Concise Encyclopedia of Tufts History
Zimman, Harold O., 1916-1994
Harold O. Zimman (1916-1994), A1938, publisher of sports magazines and former member of the United States Olympic Committee, maintained a life-long connection to Tufts as a student athlete, benefactor, and trustee. He was a strong supporter of Tufts athletics, serving on the department's board of overseers and serving as the major benefactor of the Zimman Football Field at Ellis Oval and the Zimman Room of the fitness center in , which were both named in his honor.
Born April 13, 1916, and raised in Lynn, Massachusetts, Zimman graduated from Classical High School in 1934 before entering Tufts College. As an undergraduate, he played on the football teams an offensive lineman, captaining the squad for the 1937 season. After graduating in 1938, Zimman founded H.O. Zimman, Inc., which produced programs for high school and collegiate athletic teams, and printed materials for other sports publications. His company also published the programs for United States Tennis Association (USTA) tournaments, including the US Open. Working with his wife, Helen, Zimman published The Olympian, the United States Olympic Committee's magazine, for almost fifty years.
Zimman was a strong supporter of the Olympics, serving on the board of directors of the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) from 1972-1988. He recognized the need for dialogue with athletes and promoted changes that revolutionized the organization. He also headed both USOC and USTA's public relations committees. He was presented the Olympic Order for meritorious service to the Olympic movement in 1993. The following year, the USTA presented Zimman with the Samuel Hardy Award for long and outstanding service to tennis. He was also instrumental in the founding of Israel's World Maccabiah Games, which are an Olympic-like competitions for Jewish athletes, and the United States Committee, Sports for Israel.
In 1992, Zimman made it possible for Tufts to present USOC with its successful proposal for the university's Talloires campus to be used as the headquarters of the committee and host families of US Olympians during the winter games at Albertville, France.
Zimman died of heart failure December 14, 1994, in Beverly, Massachusetts.
Source: TA, Spring 1995; TD, January 18, 1995; NYT, December 16, 1994; SSDI; BH, Decenber 16, 1994