1936 - 2007
Inducted - 1976
The first Olympic athlete to win four gold medals in the same event, Kansas University’s Al Oerter won the discus and set the Olympic record each time in 1956, 1960, 1964, and 1968 Olympic Games, the last two times despite being injured. 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 broke the world discus record four times between 1962 and 1964. Three times, Oerter broke his own world record, the last time a 206-6 effort on April 25, 1964 at the Mt. San Antonio Relays in Walnut, California. He also won two NCAA titles and six AAU championships. He graduated from Kansas University in 1958 with the 38 best discus throws in Big Seven history. 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. Inducted into the University of Kansas Hall of Fame and in 1974, became a Charter Inductee to the National Track and Field Hall of Fame. Born September 19, 1936 - New Hyde Park, New York. Died Oct. 1, 2007. Graduated Sewanhaka H.S., Floral Park (NY), 1954; University of Kansas, 1958.