Bobby Joe Morrow was born on October 15, 1935. He was an American sprinter who won three gold medals at the 1956 Olympics. He has been called “the dominant sprinter of the 1950s” and “the sprinter most relaxed of all time, even more than his hero Jesse Owens. “. Morrow spent most of his life in the Rio Grande Valley along the Gulf of Mexico, near the Mexican border. He was born in Harlingen and grew up in Saint Benedict. He starred in athletics and soccer at San Benito High School, where the soccer stadium is called Bobby Morrow Stadium.
He was 84 years old.
Morrow was born in Harlingen, Texas, on October 15, 1935 and grew up on a cotton and carrot farm outside of San Benito, Texas. Before becoming a sprinter, Morrow played soccer at San Benito High School. Morrow was also a sprinter at Abilene Christian University and became a member of the Frater Sodalis men’s club in 1955.
In the spring of 1956, Bobby Joe Morrow set the world record for 20 years in the 10.2s 100-meter dash. He also accomplished this in the run-up to the AAU Championships in Bakersfield. In 10.3s he also won the final ahead of Leamon King and Thane Baker. Ira Murchison and Baker ran 10.2 seconds in the run-up to the US Olympics. USA From 1956 in Los Angeles, and five minutes later Morrow also won in 10.2 seconds. Morrow, Murchison and Baker also qualified for the Olympics in the final. Leamon King in fourth must complete the trio for the 4 by 100 meter relay. A day later, Morrow also won the Olympic qualification for the 200-meter race in 20.6 s ahead of Walter Thane Baker and the 1952 Olympic champion Andy Stanfield. At 20.6s, Morrow also set the world record here, but this achievement was never recognized as a world record. On August 3, 1956, Willie Williams broke the Jesse Owens world record in Berlin with 10.1 s. Ira Murchison and Leamon King set the record later this year. The 1956 Olympics took place in Melbourne from late November to early December. Ira Murchison was actually the favorite over 100 meters after world records, but Morrow won for sure in each of his four races and won gold in 10.5 seconds ahead of Baker and Australian Hector Hogan, while Murchison was only room. Morrow won the preliminary and intermediate races over 200 meters, but lost to Walter Thane Baker in the semifinals. In the final, Bobby Morrow set the world record at 20.6 s and won well ahead of Stanfield and Baker. On the last day, the season with Murchison, King, Baker and Morrow won in a new world record time of 39.5 s before the German season. Immediately after the games, King, Stanfield, Baker and Morrow set a world record for 4 x 220 yards in Sydney. In 1957 Morrow also set the world record for 100 yards of 9.3 seconds. Morrow won again at the AAU championships in 1958. After failing to qualify for the 1960 Olympics, he ended his career.
Bobby Morrow was voted American Athlete of the Year for his three Olympic victories in 1956. He was the first sprinter after Jesse Owens in 1936, who achieved a double victory over both sprint routes at the Olympics; After him, Walerij Borsow was not successful until 1972. At a height of 1.86 m and a competition weight of 75 kg for a sprinter, Morrow was quite strong at the time and did not set a new world record on individual routes, but he won all important competitions. In addition to his Olympic victories and the AAU title in 1956, he also won the AAU championship over 100 yards in 1955 and 1958 and the title over 220 yards in 1958. American sports historian Bill Mallon described Bobby Morrow in 1984 as “arguably the greatest white sprinter of all time.” Of course, it is difficult to compare the achievements of Bobby Morrow with the achievements of an Archie Hahn or Percy Williams before him or a Walerij Borsow or Pietro Mennea after him. But if Mallon’s statement was valid until 1984, it still applies today, because since Mennea no white sprinter has been the best sprinter in the world of his time.
In October 2006, San Benito High School named its new 11,000 seat sporting facility Bobby Morrow Stadium. Morrow was on hand to help dedicate the new facility. He was inducted into the National Track and Field Hall of Fame in 1989 and into the Texas Track and Field Coaches Hall of Fame in 2016.
Morrow won the 100 and 200 meters in Melbourne and anchored the United States champion 400 relay team, matching the world record of 20.6 seconds in the 200 and helping the relay team set a world record. In early 1956 he successfully defended his 100-yard AAU title and swept the sprints for Abilene Christian at the national college championships. He was honored as “Sportsman of the Year” by Sports Illustrated, and won the AAU James E. Sullivan Award the following year. Morrow was inducted into the National Track and Field Hall of Fame in 1989.
Morrow married Jo Ann Strickland, whom he met in high school, in what was described as a “fairy tale marriage”. They moved to Odessa, and then to Houston, where he resumed his banking career that he had left on hold to train for the 1960 Olympics. They divorced around 1968. He subsequently moved to Ohio, where He met and married Judy. Morrow died of natural causes on May 30, 2020, at his home in San Benito, Texas, at the age of 84.
Morrow’s family said he died of natural causes at home in San Benito.