Crawford Prize

Peter Westbrook

The 2018 Crawford Prize Recipient

Peter Westbrook

Peter Westbrook is no stranger to struggle. Born to a Japanese mother and an African-American father, Peter and his sister were raised in poverty in Newark, New Jersey. Peter enrolled in fencing as the result of a five-dollar bribe from his mother, who, as a single parent, was desperate to keep him off the streets. Born in Japan into a long line of samurai warriors and Noh dancers, she understood that fencing, with its discipline, speed and mental challenge, had a good chance of capturing her young son’s imagination. She was correct in her suspicions, and Peter soon excelled at the sport. His passion for the sport would yield a full fencing scholarship to New York University, where he received world class coaching and a B.S. in Marketing. He eventually would be acknowledged as the greatest American fencer of the 20th Century.

The Guinness Book of World Records lists Peter Westbrook as the all-time winning American record holder for 13 U.S. National Sabre championships. He is a six-time Olympian and the first African-Asian American Olympic Sabre-Fencing Champion, capturing a Bronze Medal in the 1984 Los Angeles Games. In addition to holding three Gold Medals from the Pan-American games, Peter was honored by his fellow Olympians with the role of flag bearer for the United States during the closing ceremonies for the 1992 Olympic Games.

In 1991, Peter founded the Peter Westbrook Foundation, which uses the sport of fencing to assist young people to achieve their personal best emotionally, intellectually and physically.

Since its launch 25 years ago, Peter Westbrook Foundation athletes have represented the United States in fencing tournaments around the world. The impressive accomplishments of its young athletes include: qualifying for and medaling in Olympic Games, qualifying for and medaling in the Senior World Championships, and bringing home 37 individual and team national titles. As a result of this highly successful program and training, Peter Westbrook Foundation athletes continue to receive outstanding scholarships, excel academically, and graduate from top universities throughout the United States. The over 4,000 youth served by the Peter Westbrook Foundation unquestionably are making their mark on the world.

To learn more about the Peter Westbrook Foundation, visit: