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Billy Mills

Olympic gold medal winner in track. Born: 1938.

Billy Mills was born June 30, 1938, Oglala Lakota (Sioux) Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, where he was raised. He attended Haskell Institute, an Indian school in Lawrence, Kansas, and then the University of Kansas where he was an All-American cross-country runner three times. After graduation, he joined the Marines and as a First Lieutenant in the Reserves he qualified for the 1964 Olympics in the 10,000 meter run and the marathon. In a stunning upset, Mills set a new Olympic record for the 10,000 and ran the distance almost 50 seconds faster than he had ever run it before. He won the gold medal. Mills set other track records after the Olympics and was named to the U.S. Track & Field Hall of Fame and received many other track and field honors.

Entry: Mills, Billy

Author: G. Joseph Pierron

Author information: Judge Pierron serves on the Kansas Court of Appeals and has an interest in Kansas history.

Date Created: November 2012

Date Modified: June 2013

The author of this article is solely responsible for its content.