Hall of Fame

John A Paine Jr
Ice Hockey

Graduation Year


Induction Year


Hall of Fame

Harvard Athletic Achievements

John was one of the pivotal members of a 1943 team (the last Harvard team until the end of World War II), which finished 14-3-1 and outscored its opponents by an unprecedented 150-54 margin. The team’s proudest moment, however, came not from a victory but from a deadlock against a powerhouse Dartmouth team which had beaten Harvard twice and had rung up, to the point of the tie, 33 consecutive victories.

Hall of Fame

Remembering Harvard Athletics

My hockey career started when I was about ten years of age, although I had learned to skate before I was four at Brae Burn under the watchful eye of my dad (Harvard Hockey Class of 1909). He loved hockey as much as I learned to love the sport. I played competitive hockey at Fessenden School and at Noble & Greenough School (there was no such thing as Little League in those days), where I learned to “pass the puck” rather than “do it alone.” I learned in was a team sport.

My class at Harvard was 1943. My country was at war, and as soon as possible I signed up in the U.S. Navy with a “probationary commission” based on my getting a degree from Harvard. No degree, no commission. Ordinarily I would have graduated with my class in June of 1943, but the Navy wanted young men, and I went to summer school from June to September of 1942, so that I graduated in January of 1943.

I thought freshman year at Harvard was going to be easy. It wasn’t, so I went on “pro” at November hour exams. That meant that I was ineligible to play freshman hockey, which began in early December. I worked hard with my studies and managed to get off “pro” at mid-year exams with flying colors. This started the best three-and-one-half years of my college life.

I learned that sports in my educational life were just as important as the academic part of my learning. I made fast friends with my teammates, with my classmates, and with hockey players from other colleges. I believe this relationship would never have happened under other circumstances. I learned about competition. No one likes to lose, but I learned to lose gracefully and to win graciously. This attitude was most prevalent when I was elected by my teammates to Captain them for the 1943 season, an honor I will cherish forever.

The most rewarding honor that has ever been given to me was the diploma from Harvard, and the honor to by elected to the Harvard Hockey Hall of Fame is just as important. To join the names of Traff Hicks, Johnny Chase, Johnny Garrison, Austie Harding, Bill and Bobby Cleary, and Gene Kinasewich, to name a few, is overwhelming. And so I join my teammates Goody Harding, Al Everts, and Dick Mechem who have had this honor before me. It is a great team sport.