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Olympic Sprinter Frank Budd Dies at 74

Olympic sprinter and former 100-yard dash world record-holder Frank Budd died this week at 74.

Peter Radford crosses the finish line to win his first heat in the 100 metres beating Frank Budd by a whisker with E. Ozolin in third place at the 1960 Olympic games in Rome.
Peter Radford crosses the finish line to win his first heat in the 100 metres beating Frank Budd by a whisker with E. Ozolin in third place at the 1960 Olympic games in Rome.(Allsport Hulton/Archive)

Daughter Anitra Speight confirmed that he died Tuesday in Marlton. She said it was of natural causes.

Budd placed fifth in the 100 meters at the 1960 Olympics in Rome and also ran on the U.S. 100-meter relay team, which won preliminary rounds but was disqualified in the final after Budd handed off the baton outside the passing zone. Had the result stood, it would have been a world-record relay time.

The next year, while still a student at Villanova University outside Philadelphia, Budd set world records in the 100-yard dash, the 220-yard straight and was a member of a world record 4×100 relay team.

The 100-yard dash record, which gave him the unofficial title of world’s fastest man, came at a meet on New York City’s Randall’s Island. The record was later broken by two other Americans, Bob Hayes and then Ivory Crockett. Records in the event, which is a bit shorter than the sanctioned 100 meters, stopped being recognized internationally in 1976.

The Asbury Park native also won NCAA and AAU championships in track.

Despite not playing football at Villanova, Budd was drafted by the Philadelphia Eagles in 1962 and played wide receiver for one year, followed by a season with the Washington Redskins, then three for the Canadian Football League’s Calgary Stampeders. When he entered professional football, it ended Budd’s international track career.

Budd later worked for the New Jersey Department of Corrections and retired in 2002. At the end of his life, he lived in Mount Laurel, a Philadelphia suburb.

Services are scheduled for Monday on the Villanova campus.

He is survived by wife Barbara, two daughters, a son, nine grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.

 

(© 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed)

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