Cal graduate helped win gold in 1948

Updated: May 28, 2005, 10:23 PM ET
Associated Press

RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif. -- U.S. Olympic gold medalist and longtime CIA agent Hans Jorgens Jensen has died in a Riverside County hospital. He was 79.

Jensen learned to row at the University of California, Berkeley in the 1940s. He raced in the eight-man shell composed of Cal rowers that won gold in England during the 1948 Olympic Games.

His Olympic jacket still hangs in the Cal boathouse as a source of inspiration to the hundreds of young rowers who train with UC Berkeley's medal-winning teams.

Jensen trained as an aviator at Pensacola Naval Air Station in Florida during World War II and returned to Berkeley after the war to graduate in 1949.

His Scandinavian heritage helped him land a job with the Central Intelligence Agency. He worked for the CIA for 30 years, but told people he was a foreign service officer or political attache.

Jensen retired in 1976 and kept a home in Incline Village at Lake Tahoe. He also had a home in Carmel.

Jensen -- who died last Monday -- is survived by his second wife, a daughter and two sons.


Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press