Henry Carr
Paul Drayton, Henry Carr, Edwin Roberts 1964.jpg
Carr (center) at the 1964 Olympics
Personal information
Born(1941-11-27)November 27, 1941
Montgomery, Alabama, U.S.
DiedMay 29, 2015(2015-05-29) (aged 73)
Griffin, Georgia, U.S.
Height6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)
Weight185 lb (84 kg)

Football career
No. 28
Personal information
Height:6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)
Weight:190 lb (86 kg)
Career information
College:Arizona State
NFL Draft:1965 / Round: 4 / Pick: 43
AFL Draft:1965 / Round: Red Shirt 3 / Pick: 21
(By the Kansas City Chiefs)[1]
Career history
Career NFL statistics
Player stats at NFL.com · PFR
SportSprint running
ClubPhoenix Olympic Club
Achievements and titles
Personal best(s)100 yd – 9.3 (1963)
100 m – 10.2 (1964)
200 m – 20.1 (1964)
400 – 45.4 (1963)[2]
Medal record

Henry Carr (November 27, 1941 – May 29, 2015) was an American track and field athlete who won two gold medals at the 1964 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, Japan.[2]

Early life

Born in Montgomery, Alabama, in 1941,[3] Carr moved with his family to Detroit, Michigan when he was young.[4]

Prior to bringing his athletic talents to Arizona State University (ASU), Carr was a state champion sprinter for Northwestern High School in Detroit having posted a 100-yard time of 9.3 seconds. While competing for the ASU Sun Devils, he won three national titles; along the way setting world records at 220 yards and as a member of the Sun Devil 4 x 440 yard relay team.

Henry Carr won the 1963 NCAA title at 200 meters in 20.5; the same year he ran 20.69 to tie Paul Drayton for the USA title. Twice that season Carr ran world records; a non-ratified 20.4 for 220 yards and, three days later in a college triangular meet, a 20.3 for 220 yards. Henry Carr ran even faster in 1964; setting a world record of 20.2 for 220 yards. He also defeated Drayton into second place to win the national title.[5]


It was at the 1964 Olympics where Carr would achieve his greatest fame; Carr won the 200 meters (in an Olympic Record time) and anchored the winning 4 x 400 meter relay team to a world record 3:00.7 (with Ollan Cassell, Mike Larrabee and Ulis Williams).

Carr had a fright in his qualification for the Olympics. He had won the semi-final trials held in New York in July and only had to prove his fitness at the final trials in September in Los Angeles. However, he was well beaten into fourth place in the final there and with only 3 to qualify he could have been eliminated. His earlier win was enough though to convince the selectors that he should go to the Olympics.[6][7][8]

Professional football career

Following the Olympics, Carr played American football in the National Football League. He was drafted in the fourth round of the 1965 NFL Draft by the New York Giants and played three seasons as a safety and cornerback with the Giants. In his last year with them he was hampered by a knee injury.[4]

In 1969, he had a try-out with the Detroit Lions but quit their training camp.[9]

Personal life

After he left the NFL he found difficulty in adjusting and finding work. He found new purpose in 1973 when he became a Jehovah's Witness.[2][4] In the mid-1970s he was described as living a simple life with his family outside Atlanta, Georgia.[10] In later life, Carr became a Jehovah's Witness elder, and was reported to have done contracting work and owned a restaurant.[4] He died of cancer on May 29, 2015 in Griffin, Georgia.[11]

Accolades and awards

Carr was a 1975 Charter inductee in the Arizona State Sun Devils Athletics Hall of Fame.[12] In 1997, he was inducted into the USA Track and Field Hall of Fame.[13]

World records

Carr set the following world records during his track career:[14]

Note: he also ran a 20.4 s for 220 y on March 19, 1963 that was never ratified as a world record.

World rankings

Carr was ranked among the best in the US and the world in the 100, 200 and 400 m sprint events in the period 1962-64, according to the votes of the experts of Track and Field News.[15][16][17][18][19][20]


  1. ^ "1965 AFL Draft". Archived from the original on February 25, 2017. Retrieved March 23, 2017.
  2. ^ a b c Henry Carr Archived May 22, 2014, at the Wayback Machine. Sports Reference
  3. ^ Richard Goldstein (June 7, 2015) Henry Carr, Olympic Sprinter and a Football Giant, Dies at 73. New York Times.
  4. ^ a b c d Richard Goldstein (June 7, 2015). "Henry Carr, Gold Medalist and Then a Giant, Dies at 73". The New York Times.
  5. ^ "A History Of The Results Of The National Track & Field Championships Of The USA From 1876 Through 2014". Track and Field News. Archived from the original on March 16, 2015. Retrieved March 18, 2015.
  6. ^ Richard Hymans. "Olympic Trials History". Track and Field News. Archived from the original on March 23, 2015. Retrieved March 17, 2015.
  7. ^ Richard Rothschild (July 24, 1992). "Flexible Rules Helped Carr Rule In '64". Chicago Tribune.
  8. ^ E L Quercetani & G Pallicca, A World History of Sprint Racing 1850-2005, p 90-91.
  9. ^ "Carr Quits and Lions cut him". The Milwaukee Sentinel. August 29, 1969.
  10. ^ Mickey Herskowitz and Steve Perkins (May 29, 1976). "Saturday Sportsline". Lakeland Ledger.
  11. ^ Jeff Metcalfe (June 2, 2015) ASU, Olympic track champion Henry Carr dies at 73. azcentral.com
  12. ^ "Men's and Women's Track and Field". Arizona State University Official Athletics Site.
  13. ^ "Henry Carr". USA Track and Field. Archived from the original on October 27, 2018. Retrieved March 17, 2015.
  14. ^ Progression of IAAF World Records 2011 Edition, Editor Imre Matrahazi, IAAF Athletics, p. 462.
  15. ^ "World Rankings Index--Men's 100 meters" (PDF). Track and Field News. Archived from the original (PDF) on June 20, 2015. Retrieved March 17, 2015.
  16. ^ "U.S. Rankings Index--Men's 100 meters" (PDF). Track and Field News.[permanent dead link]
  17. ^ "World Rankings Index--Men's 200 meters" (PDF). Track and Field News. Archived from the original (PDF) on June 20, 2015. Retrieved March 17, 2015.
  18. ^ "U.S. Rankings Index--Men's 200 meters" (PDF). Track and Field News.[permanent dead link]
  19. ^ "World Rankings Index--Men's 400 meters" (PDF). Track and Field News.[permanent dead link]
  20. ^ "U.S. Rankings Index--Men's 400 meters" (PDF). Track and Field News.[permanent dead link]