Profile of Sir Roger Bannister

Physician / Runner
Date Of Birth:
23 March 1929
Place Of Birth:
Harrow, England
Best Known As:
The first person to run a mile in under four minutes

On 6 May 1954, Roger Bannister ran the first timed sub-four-minute mile in history. Bannister was a medical student at Oxford University at the time, and he ran his famous mile in at a local meet at Oxford's Iffley Road track. He was timed in 3:59:4, thus breaking a barrier that some had claimed was unbreakable. An amateur athlete to his core, Bannister retired from competitive running later that year and went on to become a prominent neurologist. His autobiography, First Four Minutes (later reprinted as Four Minute Mile), was published in 1955. He was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 1975.

Extra Credit:

Roger Bannister’s story was told in the TV movies The Four Minute Mile (1988, with actor Richard Huw as Bannister) and Four Minutes (2005, with Jamie Machlachlan as Bannister)… The track announcer on the day of Roger Bannister’s famous run was Norris McWhirter, later a founding editor of The Guinness Book of World Records.