Herb McKenley

Biographical information

Medals OG
Gold 1
Silver 3
Bronze 0
Total 4
RolesCompeted in Olympic Games • Other
Full nameHerbert Henry "Herb"•McKenley
Used nameHerb•McKenley
Nick/petnamesHustling Herb
Born10 July 1922 in Pleasant Valley (JAM)
Died26 November 2007 in Kingston (JAM)
Measurements185 cm / 72 kg
AffiliationsIllinois Fighting Illini, Champaign (USA)
NOC Jamaica


Herb McKenley was a legendary runner in Jamaica, winning everything available to him except an individual gold medal. He attended Boston College and won the AAU Championship in 1945 and 1947-48, after finishing as runner-up in 1944 and 1946. He is uniquely the only man to have made the final round at the Olympics in all three sprints – 100, 200, and 400, and in 1951, at the Pan American Games, he was the bronze medalist in all three events. In 1948 he twice set individual world records, once for 400 metres (45.9) and once for 440 yards (46.0). He later became a track coach and administrator in his native Jamaica, and maintained a guiding hand in the track & field program at his alma mater, Calabar High School.

Personal Bests: 100 – 10.3 (1949); 200 – 20.8 (1959); 400 – 45.7y (1948).


Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal As
1948 Summer Olympics Athletics JAM Herb McKenley
200 metres, Men (Olympic) 4
400 metres, Men (Olympic) 2 Silver
4 × 100 metres Relay, Men (Olympic) Jamaica DNS
4 × 400 metres Relay, Men (Olympic) Jamaica AC r2/2
1952 Summer Olympics Athletics JAM Herb McKenley
100 metres, Men (Olympic) 2 Silver
200 metres, Men (Olympic) DNS
400 metres, Men (Olympic) 2 Silver
4 × 400 metres Relay, Men (Olympic) Jamaica 1 Gold

Other participations

Games Role NOC As
Other JAM Herb McKenley

Special Notes