Born May 25, 1892, Bosworth, Mo. Died October 10, 1975.
The world's best hurdler during World War I, Robert Simpson made a significant breakthrough in the high hurdles world record when he ran 14.6 in 1916, two tenths of a second under the mark held by fellow Hall of Famer Earl Thomson, who, ironically, was his brother in law.
Simpson later equalled that mark and it was to stand four years before Thomson reclaimed the world record with a 14.4 in 1920. One of the University of Missouri's finest athletes, Simpson won the National AAU high hurdles title in 1916 while in school, then claimed another title in 1919 representing the Illinois A.C. He became Missouri's head track coach in 1920 and during his half dozen years in that job he tutored some of the Tigers' finest athletes, including fellow Hall of Famers Brutus Hamilton and Jackson Scholz. He also later coached at Iowa State University.