Morrow in 1956
October 15, 1935 (age 81)|
Harlingen, Texas, U.S.
Bobby Joe Morrow (born October 15, 1935) is an American former athlete and winner of three Olympic gold medals in 1956.
Bobby Joe Morrow was born in Harlingen, Texas, and raised on a farm in San Benito, Texas. Before becoming a sprinter, Morrow played football for San Benito High School. Morrow also was a sprinter at Abilene Christian University and a member of the men's club Frater Sodalis.
Morrow won the 1955 AAU 100-yard title. His most successful season was in 1956, when he was chosen by Sports Illustrated as "Sportsman of the Year". Morrow won the sprint double in the national college championships and defended his AAU title. Morrow then went to the 1956 Summer Olympics in Melbourne, where he won three gold medals and was the leader of the American sprint team. First, he was victorious in the 100-meter dash. He then led an American sweep of the medals in the 200-meter dash, while equaling the World Record at that distance with a time of 20.6 seconds (unofficially auto-timed at 20.75). He won his third gold by anchoring the 4×100-meter relay team to a World Record time. The three performances are encapsulated in Video on YouTube.
Morrow achieved great fame after winning his three gold medals, and was featured on the covers of Life magazine and SPORT magazine, as well as Sports Illustrated. He appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show and Arthur Godfrey and His Friends, and addressed a joint session of the Texas legislature.
Morrow's success on a national level continued after the Olympics, but he retired in 1958 to become a farmer and a woodworker. He made a short comeback before the 1960 Olympics but failed to qualify for the US Olympic team.
- Sears, Edward Seldon (2001). Running Through the Ages. Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland & Company. pp. 236–238. ISBN 9780786409716.
- Biography and Olympic Results at Sports Reference
- Martin, William (August 1984). "The Fastest Nice Christian Boy in the World: Then Bobby Morrow Lost His Speed and He Began to Have Certain Doubts". Texas Monthly. Austin, Texas. pp. 114–201. Retrieved March 12, 2012.