Albert Axelrod, known as Albie, (February 12, 1921, in The Bronx, New York – February 24, 2004, of a heart attack in The Bronx), was an American foil fencer.
He was the only American men's foil fencer to reach the finals at the world championships until Gerek Meinhardt won the bronze medal in the 2010 World Fencing Championships.
Axelrod was Jewish, the son of Russian Jewish immigrants who had fled the pogroms, grew up in the Bronx. A heart murmur kept Axelrod from participating in most sports, so his mother encouraged him to learn fencing at Stuyvesant High School in New York City. After graduation in 1938, he studied with 1920 Olympic champion Giorgio Santelli and won amateur titles as a member of the Salle Santelli club.
Axelrod served in the US navy in World War II, and then attended the City College of New York. His college team reached the National Team Foil Championships in 1948, the same year he was U.S. Intercollegiate Fencing Association and NCAA Champion.
US Championships and rankings
Axelrod was ranked # 1 in the United States in 1955, 1958, 1960, and 1970. He was in the top ten 22 times in the years 1942 to 1970. He was a five-time winner of the National Foil Team Championship (1940, 1950, 1952, 1954, and 1958), and his team won the National Three-Weapon team crown five times (1949, 1952, 1954, 1962, and 1963).
He was a member of the United States World Championship team four times. His best placing was fifth, in 1958.
Axelrod was on five U.S. Olympic Teams (1952–68). He won the bronze medal in Individual Foil competition at the 1960 Summer Olympics.
Pan American Games
He was also a member of four U.S. Pan American Games teams. He won three team gold medals, one team silver, and four individual silvers in Foil.
Axelrod, who was Jewish, won many gold and silver medals in his six appearances at the World Maccabiah Games.
Approach to fencing
"I have no purely defensive moves", Axelrod told The New York Times in 1966. "Everyone attributes my skill to the fact that I'm a physical freak, that I have tremendously fast reflexes. I'm not a natural athlete. When it comes to fencing, I'm completely synthetic. I had to practice arduously and break down into tiny components every move I make.
Axelrod was the Editor of "American Fencing" magazine (1986–90).
Hall of Fame inductions
Axelrod was inducted into the International Jewish Sports Hall of Fame in 1973.
He was inducted into the USFA Hall of Fame in 1974.
Axelrod worked as an electrical engineer for the Grumman Corporation.