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Bill Bowerman
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Athlete
    (February 19, 1911-December 24, 1999)
    Born in Portland, Oregon
    Track and field coach for the University of Oregon (1948-73)
    With cardiologist W.E. Harris wrote 'Jogging' (1967)
    Co-founder of Nike with Phil Knight
    He quit medical school to become a high school track coach.
    The US track team he coached at the Munich Olympics had a disappointing performance; he called the Olympics 'the worst experience I've had in my entire educational and athletic life.'
    He ran unsuccessfully for a seat in the Oregon State House of Representatives.
    He developed a limp from inhaling hexane fumes while experimenting with materials for shoes.
    When he was named to the National Track and Field Hall of Fame (1981), he refused induction because his college coach, Bill Hayward, had never been selected.
    He wore a lot of Tyrolean hats.
    He had a twin brother who died in an elevator accident when they were two years old.
    He was married to Barbara Young for 63 years until his death.
    He received four Bronze Stars and a Silver Star for his service during World War II.
    During his 24 years as head coach, the Oregon track team finished in the top ten in the nation 16 times.
    He had a handshake deal with Phil Knight.
    He designed Nike's early successes, including the Cortez (1968), the Moon Shoe (1972) and the Waffle Trainer (1974).

Credit: C. Fishel


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