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Herbert Henry McKenley

famous jamaicans


What he left behind in accomplishments on the field of sport reads like a bestselling novel.

  • At the 1948 and 1952 Olympic Games in London and Helsinki respectively, he won three individual silver medals, two of which were in spectacular photo finish fashion.
  • In I952 he produced one of the greatest relay legs of all time as Jamaica took the 400 metres relay gold in world record time.
  • He was the National Track and Field Coach of Jamaica from 1954 to 1973 and became one of six inductees in the Jamaica Sports Hall of Fame in 1989.



  • To this day he remains the only person to have reached the finals for the Olympic 100m, 200m and 400m.
  • He is the only man to have won medals in all three sprints in the same major games which was the 1951 Pan American Games.
  • He is the only man in the 20 th century to win Olympic medals in the 100m and 400m. He is also the first man to run the quarter mile under 46 seconds then under 45 seconds.
  • At various times he was world record holder at 300 yards, 440 yards, 300m and 400m.
  • World record Holder 300 yards, 400 yards 1943–49. 1946 – -47 (five time holder of 440 world record).

EDUCATION: Mico Practicing School , Calabar High School, Boston College, University of Illinois.

BORN: Clarendon Jamaica, July 10, 1922

PARENTS: Alexander Givens McKenley & Zilpha Bell Mannings-McKenley

MARRIED: Helen Beverly Lewis, December 24, 1967

CHILDREN: 5 (Two sons and three daughters)

DIED: November 26, 2007

AGE AT DEATH: 85 years

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