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Anita L. DeFrantz: Biography

Anita L. DeFrantz is president of the Amateur Athletic Foundation, based in Los Angeles. DeFrantz is a member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and serves as chairwoman of the IOC's Women and Sport Working Group (1995-present). She served as member of IOC's executive board (1992-2001), and became the organization's first African American vice president (1997-2001). DeFrantz was a member of the 1976 and 1980 U.S. Olympic teams winning a Bronze Medal for rowing in 1976.

DeFrantz, an attorney, is president of the Amateur Athletic Foundation of Los Angeles, which is managing a $120 million endowment from the 1984 Olympic Games. She was reared in Indianapolis and was introduced to the sport of rowing while attending Connecticut College.

After graduating from there with honors in 1974, she studied for her law degree at the University of Pennsylvania Law School, while training at the prestigious Vespers Boat Club. She was admitted to the Pennsylvania State Bar in 1977.

She competed on every national team from 1975 to 1980. In addition to her Olympic Bronze Medal, DeFrantz won a Silver Medal in the 1978 World Championships, was a finalist in the World Championships four times and won six National Championships. She was awarded the Olympic Order Medal of Bronze by the IOC for her leadership in fighting the American boycott of the 1980 Olympic Games in Moscow.

As a vice president of the Los Angeles Olympic Organizing Committee in 1984, she organized and managed the Olympic Village at the University of Southern California. DeFrantz was elected to the IOC in 1986. In 1992 she was elected to its executive board. She serves the organization in numerous capacities. She served as a director of the Vespers Boat Club and a member of the board of directors of the U.S. Rowing Association. She is a long-time trustee of Connecticut College. DeFrantz serves on a number of other boards and has received numerous honors and awards, including honorary doctorates from several universities.

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