US Fencing Hall of Fame

The 2018 U.S. Fencing Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony Is tentatively scheduled for Sunday, July 1st, 2018

U.S. Fencing Hall of Fame Inductees for the 2018 St. Louis Summer Nationals Induction Ceremony

Ann O’Donnell (Russell)

Soren Thompson

Ro Sobalvarro

George H. Breed

Helms Hall, Los Angeles California, the former home of the US Fencing Hall of Fame

The story of the US Fencing Hall of Fame began when the 1932 Los Angeles Olympic Games Committee decided to build the first Olympic Village in Olympic history. The city held a contest to see which bakery could bake breads in every country’s national style. The Helms Bakery, owned by Paul Hoy Helms, was the winner. Helms, the adopted son of a celebrated deaf baseball player from the 1890s, was so moved by his involvement with the Olympics that he renamed his bakery Helms Olympic Bakery and in 1936 inaugurated the Helms Sports Hall of Fame.

The National Fencing Coaches Association Hall of Fame was instituted on February 15, 1963, as a result of an initiative by the University of Illinois Coach Maxwell R. Garret. After the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Games, this was incorporated into the Helms Sports Hall of Fame. After the Helms Bakery closed in 1976, the Helms Hall of Fame was taken over by Citizens Bank, and then in 1978 the Amateur Athletic Foundation. No one was inducted to the Fencing Hall of Fame from 1975-1994.

Here is just a partial view of the Hall of Fame today, inside the Museum of American Fencing

In 1995, the USFA authorized a rebirth of the Hall of Fame Committee led by Arnie Messing and Steve Khinoy. All of the honorees of the Helms/Citizens Bank/AAF Hall of Fame are included in the US Fencing Hall of Fame. Nominations are made by the committee, based on research as well as suggestions from the USFA membership and voted by the USFA Congress.

Congratulations to the newly elected members of the
2017 Class of US Fencing Hall of Famers
to be inducted at Summer Nationals in 2017:

Kaidanov, Emmanuil G.
Kolombatovich, George
Massialas, Greg
Mattern, Cody
Sollee, Eric
Sullivan, Molly

Seven Hall of Famers in the NY Fencers Club:

Rene Pinchart, Warren Dow, Giorgio Santelli, Tibor Nyilas,
Lajos Csiszar, Dean Cetrulo, and Norman Armitage

August Anderson and Dorothy Locke Hall of Fame awards


Recommendations for nomination (henceforward pre-nominations) from Committee members and the public solicited via the Hall of Fame website,, the USA  fencing website, if possible. People are encouraged to visit the HoF website to see who is already in and who has already  been nominated but not elected and therefore remains a candidate. Pre-nominations should be accompanied by a short listing of the candidate’s qualifications. Deadline for receipt of pre-nominations: March 15.

Discussion. Candidates presented to the Committee are arranged in groups, by eras. That is, all candidates from a given era will be presented together. There may be open discussion within the Committee offering comments, fact-checking, comparisons between candidates, etc. Discussion ends April 15 and voting takes place then.

Committee vote.  Committee members first vote yes/ no/ abstain on each candidate and the tabulated results are announced. Candidates with a majority of yes votes from non-abstaining members are nominated. The tabulated results are circulated to the committee and the names of the nominees are sent to the National Office.

Election. The nominations are publicized and submitted to the USFA membership by the National Office. The instructions will be, for example, “Here are the seven nominees from Era III. Three will be elected. Vote for no more than three. The top three vote-getters will be declared elected.

The Hall of Fame Committee welcomes the participation and support of all fencers. To suggest an outstanding individual for nomination to the Hall of Fame, contact one of the following Selection Committee members:


Andy Shaw:

Arnold Messing:

Carla-Mae Richards:

Cole Harkness:

Connie Yu:

Doug Nichols

Phil Reilly

Lee Shelley