Born November 17, 1930, Tulare, Calif.
One of the greatest all-around athletes in track and field history, Robert "Bob" Mathias arrived on the world track and field scene in a rather spectacular fashion, winning the decathlon gold medal at the 1948 Olympic Games while still only 17 years old. That made him the youngest ever winner of an Olympic track and field event and also earned him the 1948 Sullivan Award as the nation's top amateur athlete.
From Tulare, Calif., Mathias continued his success and he set the first of his three world decathlon records in 1950, capping a brilliant career by repeating as Olympic champion in 1952 with another world record. Never defeated in the decathlon, Mathias was a four-time national champion in the 10 events. Also a star football fullback at Stanford University, he played in the 1952 Rose Bowl, making him the only person to ever compete in an Olympics and a Rose Bowl the same year. After his competitive days, he was a member of the U.S. Congress and also directed the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs. He was elected to U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame in 1983.