In the world of wrestling, Sam Harry owns the unique distinction of being the very first Pennsylvania state wrestling champion. As a sophomore competing for Clearfield High School in 1938, he won the PIAA state championship at 85 pounds – the first weight class wrestled in Pennsylvania’s first high school state wrestling championship event.
Upon graduation Sam went on to study and wrestle at Penn State. Coached by Charlie Speidel, Sam won the EIWA title at 128 pounds in 1942 and 1946, and was runner-up at 136 pounds in 1943. He competed at the NCAAs twice – in 1942 and 1946. In ’42, he lost in the semi-finals, but came back strong to finish third. Sam followed the same pattern in 1946, ending up third and scoring Penn State’s only points, allowing them to finish in the top-ten team race.
After Penn State, Sam attended Dickinson School of Law and practiced as a corporate tax attorney for almost 50 years. He became a partner with Morgan, Lewis, Bockius early in his career and later joined the firm of Keefer, Wood, Allen & Rahal in Harrisburg, retiring from there in 1994.
Sam could usually be found attending Pennsylvania high school wrestling championships over the years in his hometown of Harrisburg. Sam became an Army pilot during WWII and continued his hobby of flying glider planes and other aerobatic aircraft for many years. He also won a national age-group handball championship while in his 80s.
Sam passed away in June, 2011.