Robert Taylor (sprinter, born 1948)
Taylor (left) at the 1972 Olympics
|Born||September 14, 1948|
Tyler, Texas, U.S.
|Died||November 13, 2007 (aged 59)|
Houston, Texas, U.S.
|Height||183 cm (6 ft 0 in)|
|Weight||80 kg (176 lb)|
|Club||TSU Tigers, Houston|
|Achievements and titles|
|Personal best(s)||100 yd – 9.2 (1969)|
100 m – 10.16 (1972)
220 yd – 20.8 (1970)
Robert Taylor (September 14, 1948 – November 13, 2007) was an American sprinter. He won a gold medal in the 4×100 m relay at the 1972 Olympics and placed second in the 100 m final. He is the father of former NFL player Bobby Taylor.
At the Munich Olympics, Taylor was second in the 100 m. On the way to the final, Taylor was unwittingly a participant in the first athletics controversy of his career. Unlike his teammates Eddie Hart and Rey Robinson, Taylor was narrowly able to reach the start of his quarter-final race, when their coach Stan Wright unknowingly used an outdated Olympic schedule and failed to deliver his athletes to the track in time. As Taylor told it in a 2000 interview with the Tyler Morning Telegraph, the three athletes and Wright had left the Olympic village for their quarter-final runs. Whilst waiting for the bus to transport them, they wandered into the ABC-TV headquarters where they saw to their utter horror the athletes lining-up for the first heat, Robinson's heat. A frantic dash to the stadium ensued in a car driven by the ABC-TV employee Bill Norris. Both Robinson and Hart, who was scheduled to run in heat 2, were too late. Taylor, who was scheduled to run in heat 3, only had time to rip-off his sweats, put on his running shoes, and do a couple of knee bends before running.
|Year||World rank||US rank|
Taylor graduated from Emmett J. Scott High School in Tyler, Texas in 1968. He then attended Texas Southern University and graduated with a degree in education. After graduation, Taylor worked as a teacher, first at Hogg Middle School in Tyler, and then moved to Houston to teach special education and physical education at Lovett Elementary in the Meyerland area. He died from a heart attack in Houston at the age of 59. At the time of his death, he was teaching in Missouri City, Texas.
As well as participating at an Olympics, which Taylor has said was "the highlight" of his athletics career, Taylor was a respected family man, athlete and teacher. He received the following accolades:
- All-Southwestern Athletic Conference and NAIA All-American.
- Inducted in 1973 into the Outstanding College Athletes Hall of Fame.
- In 1996, inducted into the Texas Southern University Hall of Fame.
- Inducted in 2007 into the Prairie View Interscholastic League Coaches Hall of Fame.
- Southwestern Conference Hall of Fame.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Robert Taylor (sprinter, born 1948).|
- Robert Taylor. sports-reference.com
- A History Of The Results Of The National Track & Field Championships Of The USA From 1876 Through 2003, Track and Field News, Retrieved 3 February 2012.
- on YouTube
- Hicks, Phil (14 November 2007) Tyler Olympic star Robert Taylor dies. tylerpaper.com. retrieved 26 February 2012.
- on YouTube (amateur footage)
- "World Rankings Index—Men's 100 meters" (PDF). Track and Field News.
- "U.S. Rankings Index—Men's 100 meters" (PDF). Track and Field News.
- Litsky, Frank (16 November 2007)Robert Taylor dies at 59; Won 2 medals in 72 Olympics. NY Times. Retrieved 26 February 2012.