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Mel (Peerless Mel) Sheppard

Photo of Mel (Peerless Mel) Sheppard

Inducted: 1976, athlete

Born: September 5, 1883 - Almonesson Lake, New Jersey
Deceased: January 4, 1942

800 m - 1:52.00
1,500 m - 4:03.40

The first man to win Olympic gold medals in both the 800 and 1500, Mel Sheppard made his fame prior to World War I while representing the Irish-American A.C. Noted for being a frontrunner, "Peerless Mel," as he was nicknamed, won seven National AAU titles in the middle distances, including five outdoors, and set world records of 1:52.8 and 4:03.4 while winning the 800 and 1500 at the 1908 Olympic Games. He earned another gold medal in 1908 as the anchorman on the winning U.S. medley relay team. In 1912, he won a gold medal as lead-off runner on the 4x400m relay team that set a world record of 3:16.6. In three other appearances at the 1912 Olympics, he was second in the 800, sixth in the 1500 and a non-qualifier in the 400. In addition to his world records at 800m and 1500m, Sheppard set indoor world records for the 600- and 1000-yard runs and was a member of several relay teams that held world records. For many years, he was the recreation director of the Millrose A.A. He was elected to the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame in 1989.

Records Held
World Record: 1,500 m - 4:03.40 (July 14, 1908 - )

1908 Olympics: 800 m (1st)
1908 Olympics: 1,500 m (1st)
1908 Olympics: 4,000 m relay (1st)
1912 Olympics: 800 m (2nd)
1912 Olympics: 1,500 m (6th)
1912 Olympics: 1,600 m relay - 3:16.60 (1st)

undergraduate: Brown Preparatory (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania), 1905

Recreational director

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