Worth, George

U.S. national sabre champion (1954); medalist five times. U.S. Olympic team (1948, ’52, ’56, ’60). Finalist, Olympic sabre individual (1948) – fifth place. Member, bronze medal-winning sabre team (1948) and fourth place sabre team (1960). One of the leading officials in the sport.

Stars with U.S.A. Fencing Squad against Canuks

By Myrtle Cook

George Worth is a wicked man with a saber.

The New Yorker, here with five fellow Americans on Saturday to match blades with our ranking Montrealers, is as gentle as a lamb off the fencing mat. He’s the good neighbor personified, and as one spectator put it, “as funny as a barrel of monkeys.”

Westmount YMCA gymnasium almost burst its seams as the fens piled along the sidelines to watch the International bouts. Worth, U.S.A., was a real showman. He hit his target with telling regularity and kept the onlookers enthralled with his cat-like attacks. He rushed, leapt in the air, disarmed his opponent, then swept up the fallen blade and in Doug Fairbanks movie fashion, returned it to his victim.

The leader of the invading squad, Worth, who was awarded the Friendship trophy by his 1952 Olympic Teammates also showed agility, fine-timing, and an uncanny ability to parry any king of attack.

Although the matches were billed as exhibitions, it was possible to garner some idea of how the scores went. Big Len Turk took on Canadian Jacques Giguere first and allowed him only two hits in their foil engagement. Albert Axelrod engaged Al Howard of Montreal in the second bout and delivered some highly entertaining fencing action.

1953 Santelli Stylists Show Wares

These six American swordsman showed fencing at its best in a series of bouts with highly rated Montrealers at Westmount YMCA on Saturday. Left to right: Ralph Goldstein, George Worth, Allan Kwartler, Albert Axelrod, Leonard Turk, Dr. Paul Moss. They represent the Salle Santelli Club of New York. They showed dexterity in foil, saber, and epee.

1948 US Olympic Saber Team

1951 Pan Am Team

Worth, George Vitez (ne’ Gyorgy Wiottitz)

Born 01 April 1915 Budapest, Hungary. Bronze: 1948 Team Sabre. George Worth began fencing while a youth in Hungary at the Salle Santelli, the salle d’armes of Italo Santelli, the preeminent sabre coach of all-time and the father of George Santelli, five-time U.S. Olympic coach. Because of the unstable political climate in Hungary in 1937, Worth decided to emigrate to the United States but was unable to do so directly. He spent two years in Cuba where he won the Cuban national sabre championships and fenced frequently with Cmdte. Ramon Fonst, the Olympic champion of 1900 and 1904.

Worth was a member of the U.S. Olympic teams in 1948, 1952, 1956, and 1960. In 1948, besides the team bronze medal, he finished fifth in the sabre individual in 1954 and was a member of 14 national championship teams, representing the Salle Santelli his entire career. He was also a member of three Pan-American teams, winning a gold medal for sabre team in 1951, 1955 and 1959. At the 1959 Pan-Am Games he spoke in both English and Spanish.

From Quest for Gold, by Jeffrey Tishman

1955 Pan Am Team

1959 Pan Am Games Team

1960 US Olympic Team

1971 Pan Am Team





1948 Olympic team aboard the Queen Elizabeth
Left to Right: Warren Dow, Ralph Goldstein, Norman Lewis, Joe deCapriles, George Worth, Mike deCapriles, Tibor Nyilas, Gus Prokop

Fencing Olympians on board Queen Elizabeth in 1948
Left to right:   Gus Prokop, Ralph Goldstein, George Worth, Tibor Nyilas