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Glenn Davis

Photo of Glenn Davis

Inducted: 1974, athlete

Born: September 12, 1934 - Wellsburg, West Virginia

200 m hurdles - 22.50
400 yd. hurdles - 49.90
400 m hurdles - 49.20
440 yd. - 45.70

A versatile, multi-talented athlete while at Ohio State University, Glenn Davis ran the 400m hurdles for the first time in 1956. It was a momentous debut. He won the AAU national championship, beating established star Josh Culbreath. At the Olympic Trials, he became the first athlete to break 50 seconds in the 400m hurdles, winning in a world record of 49.5. He capped his year by winning the event at the Melbourne Olympic in an Olympic record of 50.1. Four years later, in Rome, he became the first person to win the event for a second time, running 49.3 to surpass his own Olympic record. He won another gold medal as a member of the U.S. 4x400m relay team. Davis was a four-time AAU champion in the intermediate hurdles. An exceptional 400m-440-yard sprinter, Davis set a world record of 45.7 seconds in the 440-yard dash in 1958. That same year, he lowered his own world record in the 400m hurdles and set a world record of 49.9 in the 400-yard hurdles. He won the 1958 Sullivan Award as the top American amateur athlete. One of the rare times he ran the 200m hurdles, Davis set a world record of 22.5 in 1960. Coached by Hall of Famer Larry Snyder, Davis later played professional football for the Detroit Lions and Los Angeles Rams before becoming a track coach and restaurateur.

Records Held
World Record: 200 m hurdles - 22.50
World Record: 400 yd. hurdles - 49.90
World Record: 400 m hurdles - 49.20 (August 6, 1958 - )
World Record: 440 yd. - 45.70
Olympic Record: 400 m hurdles - 50.10
Olympic Record: 400 m hurdles - 49.30

1956 Olympics: 400 m hurdles - 50.10 (1st)
1960 Olympics: 400 m hurdles - 49.30 (1st)
1960 Olympics: 1,600 m relay (1st)
1956 AAU: 400 m hurdles (1st)

undergraduate: Ohio State (Columbus, Ohio), 1959

Professional football player

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