Born October 28, 1934, New York City.
Jim Beatty is best remembered as the first man to break the four-minute mile barrier indoors with a 3:58.9 performance in February, 1962, at Los Angeles. The performance served as a harbinger of a great year for the diminutive (5-6, 130) former University of North Carolina star. That year, he would set American records in five events during a 16-day stretch in August. Beatty set ARs in the 1500 (Oslo, August 9), mile (Helsinki, August 21), 3000 (Avranches, France, August 15) and both the three mile and 5,000 meters in one race (Turku, Finland, August 24). Beatty became the first American to hold records simultaneously in all events from 1500 to 5,000 meters. That magical year saw Beatty break a total of seven U.S. records and a world record at two miles. Beatty earned the 1962 Sullivan Award as the nation's top amateur athlete. Competing for the Los Angeles Track Club, Beatty made the 1960 Olympic team but failed to advance to the 5,000 final in Rome. In the 1963 Pan American Games, he was second in the 1500. He earned four national titles during his career, winning the mile in 1962 and capturing indoor mile titles from 1961 to 1963. Beatty turned to politics after his running days and served in the North Carolina Legislature but in 1972 failed to win a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives.