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Eddie O'Donnell Collection, ca. 1913-1920
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81 black-and-white photographs of race car driver Eddie O'Donnell, some picturing the Duesenbergs that he drove, and of other race car drivers. ca. 1913 to 1920, undated.
Eddie O’Donnell was born in Whitewater, Wisconsin in 1889. He began his track career as a mechanician in 1912 and drove in his first race in Kalamazoo in 1914, taking 2nd place in a 100-mile event. That same year he came in second in the Corona, California road race on a circular boulevard. In 1915 O’Donnell started in ten races and finished in nine, winning 2 firsts, 3 seconds, 2 thirds, and 2 fifths. The following year, he won the Ascot Sweepstakes as well as the Corona and Fresno road races. (The Corona race in April of 1916 is the one in which Bob Burman was fatally injured.) O’Donnell broke his arm in 1917 at Kansas City and didn’t compete again until 1919. That year he participated in two races at Sheepshead Bay, New York where he finished fourth in one race and second in another. In 1920 O’Donnell placed fifth in the 250-mile event at Los Angeles, third in Uniontown, Pennsylvania, fifth in the Elgin road race near Chicago, fourth in Uniontown, and second in Fresno, California. (This latter race was a 200-mile race won by Jimmie Murphy.) O’Donnell’s last race was on Thanksgiving Day in 1920 where he was killed during the race on the 1¼ Los Angeles speedway at Beverly Hills. The accident also killed Lyall Jolls, O’Donnell’s mechanician, and Gaston Chevrolet of the famed Chevrolet brothers.
.2 linear feet (Boxes: letter)
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