October 13, 2020 11:38:01 am
Charlie Moore, the 400-meter hurdles champion at the 1952 Helsinki Olympics, has died. He was 91.
Moore died Thursday from pancreatic cancer, according to World Athletics. Cornell University also confirmed the passing of the school’s former athletic director and star athlete.
Moore won the 400 hurdles in the rain in 1952 in 50.8 seconds to tie the Olympic record he set in the quarterfinals. Moore also earned a silver medal in Helsinki on the United States’ 1,600-meter relay team.
After the Olympics, he set a world record of 51.6 in the 440 hurdles at the British Empire Games in London.
Charles Moore Jr. grew up in Pennsylvania and was a standout at Mercersburg Academy before going on to Cornell. He was inducted into Cornell’s Athletic Hall of Fame in 1978 and the USA Track and Field Hall in 1999.
Moore donated his two Olympic medals to Mercersburg Academy.
“I couldn’t figure out how you divide two medals among nine children,” Moore said in a recent interview posted on the United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee website.
“Mercersburg gave me my start and they’ll be there for everybody to see, including my children.”
Moore went on to become a successful business executive, investment fund manager, athletics administrator and later an author and philanthropist.
His father, Charles “Crip” Moore Sr., was an alternate as a hurdler for the U.S. in the 1924 Paris Olympics.
“My father was the one whose idea it was I should make the Olympic team. He was my best friend, also my mentor and also the guy who pushed the hell out of me,” Moore told the USOPC website.
“I loved it. He’d say, ‘Charlie I want you do to this,’ and I would say, ‘Yes, sir.’”
Moore helped pioneer a 13-step approach to the hurdles, which is used today. Kevin Young set the longstanding 400-meter hurdles record in 1992 with his time of 46.78 seconds.
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