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Otis Davis

Inducted: 2004, athlete

Born: July 12, 1932 - Tuscaloosa, Alabama

Events
400 m - 44.90


The U.S. has dominated the men's 400 meters through the years and Otis Davis is one of the nation's all-time greats in that event. Known primarily for his prowess on the basketball court, Davis didn't take up running the 400 meters in track and field until he was 26 years old. At the 1960 Olympic Games in Rome, he won by a hair over Germany's Carl Kaufmann, setting a world record of 44.9 seconds and becoming the first man to break the heralded 45-second barrier. Two days later, Davis and Kaufmann met again for the 4x400m relay final. He held off the challenge, anchoring home the gold with another world record performance of 3:02.2. Davis was the 1961 USA Outdoor 400m champion, and he was ranked in the top ten in the world three times during his career.

Records Held
World Record: 400 m - 45.67 (August 8, 1960 - )
World Record: 400 m - 45.62 (September 5, 1960 - )
World Record: 400 m - 45.07 (September 6, 1960 - )
World Record: 1,600 yd. relay - 3:05.60 (August 8, 1960 - )
World Record: 1,600 m relay - 3:02.20 (September 8, 1960 - )

Championships
1960 USA Outdoor Championships: 400 m - 45.80 (1st)
1961 USA Outdoor Championships: 440 yd. - 46.10 (1st)

Education
undergraduate: University of Oregon (Eugene, Oregon)

Occupations
Teacher
Counselor
President of the Tri-States Olympic Alumni Association

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