Ira Murchison

Biographical information

Medals OG
Gold 1
Silver 0
Bronze 0
Total 1
RolesCompeted in Olympic Games
Full nameIra James•Murchison
Used nameIra•Murchison
Born6 February 1933 in Chicago, Illinois (USA)
Died18 March 1994 in Harvey, Illinois (USA)
Measurements165 cm / 65 kg
AffiliationsUCTC, Chicago (USA) / US Air Force, (USA)
NOC United States


After attending Iowa and Western Michigan, Ira Murchison joined the army and took both sprints at the 1956 army championships. In June 1956 he twice equalled the world 100 m record of 10.2 and then brought the record down to 10.1 in winning the International Military Championships in Berlin. At the 1956 Olympics he placed fourth in the 100 m, but then won a gold medal as the lead-off man on the world record breaking relay team. After his military service, Murchison returned to Western Michigan and finished second to Bobby Morrow in the 1957 NCAA 100y. Both men equalled the world record, but only Morrow had his time recognized by the IAAF. Murchison gained some consolation by winning the NCAA title in 1958. Standing only 5-5 (1.65), Murchison was one of the smallest ever world class sprinters and was ideally suited to indoor competition. He won the AAU indoor 60y in 1957 and twice equalled the world record that year. He was ranked as the leading indoor sprinter in 1957 and 1959. At the 1963 Pan American Games he won gold with the 4×100 metres relay team (with Earl Young, Ollan Cassell, and the non-Olympian Brooks Johnson) and bronze in the 100 metres.

Personal Bests: 100y – 9.3 (1957); 100 – 10.1 (1956); 200 – 21.1y (1958).


Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal As
1956 Summer Olympics Athletics USA Ira Murchison
100 metres, Men (Olympic) 4
4 × 100 metres Relay, Men (Olympic) United States 1 Gold

Special Notes