Join/Renew Now

Charlie Jenkins

Photo of Charlie Jenkins

Inducted: 1992, athlete

Born: January 7, 1934 - New York, New York

600 yd. - 1:10.40

Running for Hall of Fame coach Jumbo Elliott's Villanova track team, Charlie Jenkins won the IC4A 440-yard championship in 1955 and 1957 and was the indoor 600-yard champion from 1955 through 1957. He also won the AAU outdoor 440-yard dash in 1955 and the indoor 600-yard event in 1957 and 1958. He set a world indoor best for 500 yards in 1956. Despite his successes, Jenkins came to the 1956 Melbourne Olympics as an underdog in the 400 meters to fellow American Lou Jones, who had set a world record of 45.2 seconds at the Olympic Trials. In that race, Jenkins had finished a distant third. After barely qualifying in the first two rounds of the Olympic 400, Jenkins won his semi-final race in 46.1. In the final, a strong finish earned him the race in a time of 46.7. He won his second gold medal in the 4x400m relay, recording a 45.5 leg for the winning U.S. team. When Jumbo Elliott died in 1981, Jenkins succeeded him as Villanova coach. One of his runners was his son, Chip, who placed third at the 1986 NCAA outdoor championships. Like his father, Chip also became an Olympic gold medalist, running as a reserve on the U.S. 4x400m relay team at the 1992 Olympic Games.

1956 Olympics: 400 m - 46.70 (1st)
1956 Olympics: 1,600 m relay (1st)
1955 AAU: 440 yd. (1st)
1957 AAU Indoors: 600 yd. (1st)
1958 AAU Indoors: 600 yd. (1st)
1955 IC4A: 440 yd. (1st)
1955 IC4A Indoors: 600 yd. (1st)
1956 IC4A Indoors: 600 yd. (1st)
1957 IC4A: 440 m (1st)
1957 IC4A Indoors: 600 yd. (1st)

undergraduate: Villanova (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania), 1958
graduate: University of Massachusetts at Amherst (Amherst, Massachusetts)


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