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Jim Beatty
Personal information
Born October 28, 1934

James Tully Beatty (born October 28, 1934 in New York, New York) is a former American track and field athlete who is best remembered as the first person to break the four-minute mile barrier on an indoor track when he ran 3:58.9 on February 10, 1962 at the Los Angeles Invitational in the Los Angeles Sports Arena in Los Angeles, California. He competed in the men's 5000 metres at the 1960 Summer Olympics.[1]

Beatty graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1957 where his best time in the mile was a 4:06. He was an All-American for the two miles in 1955 and 1957 and for the 5,000 meters in 1956. Beatty was also the Atlantic Coast Conference champion in the mile in 1955 and 1956.

In 1960, Beatty moved to California to train under Mihály Iglói, and in 1961, he joined the Los Angeles Track Club. Beatty broke eleven American and three world records in 1962, and became the first American to simultaneously hold records in the 1,500 meter, 3,000 meter, 5,000 meter, one and three mile events. Because of his outstanding performance he was named the 1962 James E. Sullivan Award as the nation's top amateur athlete. He was also the first recipient of the ABC's Wide World of Sports Athlete of the Year that year.

Beatty was inducted into the USA National Track and Field Hall of Fame in 1990, the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame in 1963 and the Greater Charlotte Sports Hall of Fame in 2004.


  1. ^ "Jim Beatty Olympic Results". Olympics at Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved 7 November 2017. 

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