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John Taylor (Runner)
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    (November 3, 1882-December 2, 1908)
    Born in Washington, District of Columbia
    Gold medal winner, Men's 4 X 400 medal relay
    Died in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
    He had spindly legs for a runner.
    He appeared to never smile in photos.
    During the 1908 London Games, he and American colleague protested the disqualification of a teammate by refusing to run, causing the only walkover in Olympic history.
    He was the first African American to win an Olympic gold medal.
    He was the sole black man on the Irish American Athletic Club at the University of Pennsylvania.
    He earned a doctorate in veterinary medicine.
    He succumbed to typhoid fever at 26, mere months after his groundbreaking feat.
    At his funeral, trainer Mike Murphey he was remembered as, 'the nicest man he had ever had to train; he never gave any bother, worked hard, and was always on time.'

Credit: Black Chic

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