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Archie Williams

Photo of Archie Williams

Inducted: 1992, athlete

Born: May 1, 1915 - Oakland, California
Deceased: June 24, 1993

400 m - 46.10

Archie Williams had one great year but he did more in that one year than many athletes achieve in a lifetime. Until 1936, Williams had never broken 49 seconds for the 440-yard run. However, that year he kept lowering his times and reached his peak at the NCAA championships, setting a world 400m record of 46.1 in the preliminaries. He won the final in a time of 47.0. He followed that feat with a victory in the Olympic Trials, then went to Berlin and won the Olympic gold medal in the 400 meters. A serious leg injury ended his running career a year later. After receiving degrees in mechanical engineering from the University of California and aeronautical engineering from the Air Force Engineering School, Williams became a commercial pilot. During World War II, he was a pilot in the Air Force and retired from the military 22 years later as a lieutenant colonel. He later taught mathematics and computer science in California high schools.

Records Held
World Record: 400 m - 46.10 (June 19, 1936 - )

1936 Olympics: 400 m (1st)
1936 NCAA: 400 m - 47.00 (1st)

undergraduate: California (Berkeley, California)


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