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Eddie Tolan

Photo of Eddie Tolan

Inducted: 1982, athlete

Born: September 29, 1908 - Denver, Colorado
Deceased: January 30, 1967

Events
100 yd. - 9.50
100 m - 10.30


Only 5' 7" and 145 pounds, Eddie Tolan was a compact, confident sprinter who ruled the 100 and 200 meters from 1929 to 1932. The highlight of his career was the Los Angeles Olympics, in which he won the 100 by the narrowest of margins over fellow Hall of Famer Ralph Metcalfe in a world record-tying 10.3, then won the 200 easily in an Olympic record 21.2. Tolan's running career got off to an auspicious start at Detroit's Cass Tech High School, where he won his first sprint double at the state meet as a sophomore, before doubling at the National Interscholastic Championships in his senior year. After entering the University of Michigan, he made headlines in 1929 when he set a world record of 9.5 in the 100-yard dash. He went on to win the 1931 national collegiate 220 yard title as well as four National AAU sprint titles. At the 1932 Olympic Trials, he finished second in both the 100 and 200 to Metcalfe. But at the Olympics, he regained his winning form, taking both the sprint events. Over his career, Tolan won 300 races and lost just seven.

Records Held
World Record: 100 yd. - 9.50 (May 25, 1929 - )
World Record: 100 m - 10.30 (August 1, 1932 - )
Olympic Record: 200 m - 21.20

Championships
1932 Olympics: 100 m - 10.30 (1st)
1932 Olympics: 200 m - 21.20 (1st)
1931 NCAA: 220 yd. (1st)

Education
high school: Cass Tech (Detroit, Michigan), 1927
undergraduate: Michigan (Ann Arbor, Michigan), 1931

Occupations
Vaudevillian
School teacher

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