oerter al
Al Oerter

  • Graduated from KU in 1958 with the 38 best discus throws in Big Seven history
  • Broke the world discus record four times between 1962 and1964
  • First Olympic athlete to win four Gold Medals in the same event
Oerter, Al
Inducted 1976

Born: September 19, 1936 - New Hyde Park, New York

Died: October 1, 2007

Graduated: Sewanhaka H.S. (Floral Park, NY), 1954; University of Kansas, 1958


The first Olympic athlete to win four gold medals in the same event, KU’s Al Oerter won the discus and set the Olympic record each time in 1956, 1960, 1964, and 1968 Olympic Games, despite being injured during his last two trips to the games.

College Highlights

As a high school athlete in New York, Oerter set the national prep record in the discus. At Kansas, he won the conference discus title three straight years (1956-57-58), and is the only athlete in history to win nine titles in the same event at the prestigious Texas-Kansas-Drake Relays as he swept the discus circuit in 1956, 1957, and 1958. He also won two NCAA titles and six AAU championships. He graduated from the University of Kansas in 1958 with the 38 best discus throws in Big Seven history.

Professional Highlights

He broke the world discus record four times between 1962 and 1964. Oerter broke his own world record three different times, the last time a 206-6 effort on April 25, 1964, at the Mt. San Antonio Relays in Walnut, California. Oerter retired from competition in 1969, then attempted a comeback for the 1976 Olympics at age 40.


He was an honorary torch bearer for the Centennial Olympic Games in Atlanta in 1996. Oerter was inducted into the University of Kansas Hall of Fame and in 1974 and became a Charter Inductee to the National Track and Field Hall of Fame.