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MEL SHEPPARD MIDDLE DISTANCES (Inducted 1976)

Born September 5, 1883, Almonesson Lake, N. J. Died January 4, 1942.

The first man to win Olympic gold medals in both the 800 and 1,500, Mel Sheppard made his fame just prior to World War I while representing the Irish-American A.C.

Noted for being a frontrunner, Sheppard, or "Peerless Mel" as he was nicknamed, won seven National AAU titles in the middle distances, five outdoors, and set world records of 1:52.8 and 4:03.4 while winning the 800 and 1,500 at the 1908Olympic Games. He earned another gold medal in 1908 on the medley relay and also was a gold medalist in 1912 while running on the 4 x 400 relay. Also at the 1912 Games, he was second in the 800, sixth in the 1,500 and a non-qualifier in the 400. Besides his 800 and 1,500 world marks, he also held shares of world records on several relay teams. For many years, he was the recreation director of the Millrose A.A. He was elected to thre U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame in 1989.

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