Suh Yun-bok

Korean distance runner

Suh Yun-bok (9 January 1923 – 27 June 2017) was a South Korean athlete. He was best known as the winner of the 1947 Boston Marathon.[1] He won the race with a world best time of 2:25:39 under the coach Sohn Kee-chung, the Korean winner of the marathon at the 1936 Berlin Olympics. He was born in Seoul.

Suh in 1947

His participation in the Boston Marathon was financed by donations from servicemen in the United States Forces Korea.[2] His win was the first time a world best for the men's marathon was set at the Boston Marathon. The previous world best was set by his coach Sohn in Tokyo, Japan in 1935.

At 166 cm tall (5'5") and weighing 56 kg (123 lbs), he was said to be the shortest winner ever of the Boston Marathon. In 1948, one year after the Boston victory, Suh raced the marathon in 1948 Summer Olympics held in London. He retired in 1949.

Suh died on 27 June 2017 in Seoul at the age of 94.[3]


  1. "서윤복 (Seo Yun-Bok)" (in Korean). Sports Museum of Korea. Archived from the original on 2016-11-04. Retrieved 2007-10-06.
  2. "Korean Star, G.I. Financed Wins 51st B.A.A. Marathon". Christian Science Monitor. 1947-04-21. Archived from the original on 2011-05-24. Retrieved 2007-10-06.
  3. "Ex-Boston Marathon champion Suh Yun-bok passes away". Yonhap News Agency. 27 June 2017. Retrieved 26 June 2017.