Born August 19, 1936, Astoria, N.Y.
How many athletes can claim a competitive record that stretched over four decades? Alfred "Al" Oerter can and it's a tribute to this former University of Kansas athlete that he has survived numerous injuries and ailments to become a legend throughout the world. His record of four straight Olympic discus titles speaks for itself but perhaps even more impressive was his ability to throw on a world class level even though he was approaching his 50th birthday.
Oerter first came into international prominence at Kansas, where he was coached by another Hall of Famer, Bill Easton. Oerter won his first Olympic gold medal in 1956 and followed that with other Olympic victories in 1960, 1964 and 1968. He retired for eight years but came back and was a nationally-ranked thrower as recently as 1985. A computer engineer and the first man to throw the discus 200 feet, Oerter was twice national collegiate champion at Kansas, also winning six National AAU titles. He improved the world discus record four times and was the 1959 Pan-American Games champion. He was elected to U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame in 1983.