Join/Renew Now

Lee Calhoun

Photo of Lee Calhoun

Inducted: 1974, athlete

Born: February 23, 1933 - Laurel, Mississippi
Deceased: June 22, 1989

110 m hurdles - 13.20

Lee Calhoun is the first athlete to win the 110m hurdles at two different Olympics. In both Olympics, he won by slim margins and led U.S. 1-2-3 sweeps. The first time, in 1956, he entered the season with a time of only 14.4 seconds, but improved by almost a full second, winning the gold medal in a time of 13.5. His second gold medal was less of a surprise, for he tied the world record of 13.2 in Bern, Switzerland shortly before the Rome Olympics. In Rome, he won in 13.98, beating Willie May of the U.S. by one-hundredth of a second. Shortly before the Rome Olympics, he tied the world record of 13.2 for both yards and meters. While at North Carolina Central College under Hall of Fame coach Leroy Walker, Calhoun won the 1956 and 1957 NCAA titles. He also won five National AAU titles, three of them outdoors. After retiring from competition, he became a college track coach, first at Grambling University, then at Yale, and finally at Western Illinois University. He was an assistant Olympic coach in 1976 and was elected to the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame in 1990. Calhoun's memory lives on with the annual running of the Lee Calhoun High School Invitational hosted by North Carolina Central.

Records Held
World Record: 110 m hurdles - 13.20 (August 21, 1960 - )

1956 Olympics: 110 m hurdles - 13.50 (1st)
1960 Olympics: 110 m hurdles - 13.98 (1st)
1956 NCAA: 110 m hurdles (1st)
1957 NCAA: 110 m hurdles (1st)

undergraduate: North Carolina Central (Durham, North Carolina), 1957


Nike Toyota Hershey Garden of Life NCSA Gatorade KT Nationwide Normatec St. Vincent UCS