Herb Elliott

Biographical information

RolesCompeted in Olympic Games
Full nameHerbert James "Herb"•Elliott
Used nameHerb•Elliott
Born25 February 1938 in Subiaco, Western Australia (AUS)
Measurements181 cm / 68 kg
AffiliationsCoburg Harriers, Coburg (AUS)
NOC Australia
Medals OG
Gold 1
Silver 0
Bronze 0
Total 1


Herb Elliott had a short, but brilliant, career as a competitive athlete from 1957-62, is still considered among the greatest middle-distance runners of all-time, and is always included on lists of the greatest milers of all-time. He lost only one 1,500 m or mile race and broke four minutes for the mile on 17 occasions. Elliott burst onto the international scene at the 1958 Commonwealth Games, where he won both the 880 yds and mile races. A few weeks later, on 6 August 1958, Elliott set a mile world record of 3:54.5 in Dublin, and on 28 August 1958 broke the 1,500 m record in Götenborg, Sweden, running 3:36.0. He also won the AAU mile championship that year and was selected as the best male athlete of the year by the Associated Press. Elliott went to the 1960 Olympics as the overwhelming favorite for 1,500 gold and won the Olympic title in a world record time of 3:35.6.

After the Roma Olympics, Elliott enrolled at Cambridge University and ended his sporting career in 1962. He later became CEO of Puma North America and from 2001-06 was a board member at Ansell, one of the world’s biggest condom makers. In May 2005 Elliott was named Deputy Chairman of Fortescue Metals Group, the world’s fifth largest iron ore miner by capacity, and served as non-executive chairman of the firm beginning March 2007. He also worked as Director of Athlete and Corporate Relations for the Australian Olympic Committee.

Personal Best: 1500 – 3:35.6 (1960).


Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal As
1960 Summer Olympics Athletics AUS Herb Elliott
1,500 metres, Men (Olympic) 1 Gold

Special Notes