LeRoy Walker, the grandson of slaves who became the first African American to lead the U.S. Olympic Committee and the first black man to coach a U.S. Olympic team, died Monday at age 93.
The Associated Press reports:
The grandson of slaves raised in the segregated South before he moved to Harlem, Walker led the U.S. Olympic Committee from 1992 to 1996, both shepherding the summer games played in Atlanta and leading the group when the 2002 Winter Olympics were awarded to Salt Lake City …
He coached Olympic teams from Ethiopia, Israel, Jamaica, Kenya and Trinidad & Tobago before his home country gave him a chance to be the first black head coach of a U.S. Olympic team when he led the track squad to Montreal in 1976.
That team brought home 22 medals, including gold in the long jump, discus, decathlon, 400-meter hurdles and both men's relays.
Current U.S. Olympic Committee Chairman Scott Blackmun said Walker's impact on the U.S. Olympic movement and track and field will be felt for generations to come …
But he just didn't concentrate on athletics. Walker earned a doctorate from New York University in 1957, and in 1983, he was named chancellor at North Carolina Central.
Even with all the accolades, Walker still wanted to be called "coach."
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