Obit of the Day: Olympic Medalist Willie May
On the left in the stunning photograph above is Willie May. The photo was taken during he 1960 Olympic Trials for the 110 meter hurdles. May, who would win silver in the Rome games that year, grew up in Chicago before attending Indiana University where he won seven Big Ten hurdles titles and was named an All-American.
During the medal heat in Rome, Willie May faced the 1956 gold medalist - and world record holder - Lee Calhoun. May and Calhoun ran a tight race which Calhoun won by 0.01 seconds. (Official records actually list both men with the same time of 13.8 seconds.)
After the Games, Willie May headed back to his home state of Illinois where he became assistant, then head, coach of the Evanston High School track team. The Wildkits (Evanston is also home to Northwestern University, whose teams are called the Wildcats), would win 26 conference championships and the 1979 state title under Mr. May. He was later named the high school’s athletic director.
Willie May died at the age of 75.
(Image is copyright of LIFE, but I could not locate more information on their archive. It was unsearchable. If anyone from their tumblr reads this, can you please give me more information? Thanks.)