Originally from Southern California, International Master Kim Commons passed away in Arizona, in 2015, at the age of 63. According to chessgames.com, his performance rating in the 22nd Chess Olympiad placed him among the top 15 players in the world at that time (1976).
He entered the A-B section of the 1968 Long Beach Classic Open with a USCF rating of 1869 (at about age 16), rapidly rising to win the Los Angeles Open in 1971 and the California Chess Championship in 1972.
Perhaps his most noteworthy achievement was in the 22nd Chess Olympiad in Haifa, Israel, where he served on a reserve board for the United States and had a score of 83.3% (7.5 points out of 9). That turned out to be important, for the USA won the team gold medal by only half a point ahead of the silver medalist team (Netherlands).
Kim Commons was the only American individual medal winner in that Chess Olympiad, with the highest score percentage (83.3%) of any of the individual medals winners in the main event. What a rapid rise in the chess world, from a rating of only 1869 in the year 1968!