June 14, 1918 – April 23, 2012 Dr. Leroy T. Walker
Dr. Leroy T. Walker
Dr. Leroy T. Walker was the first Black coach of an American Olympic team and the first Black president of the United States Olympic Committee. He was born on June 14, 1918 in Atlanta, Georgia. He received his undergraduate degree from Benedict College, M.A. from Columbia University and his PHD from New York University in Biomechanics. He became known around the world as a leader in developing and leading world class athletes to success. His coaching career in track and field began at his undergraduate college, Benedict College in South Carolina. He later moved to North Carolina Central University in Durham, North Carolina where he would establish a track and field legacy. He had athletes from North Carolina Central in the Olympic Games from 1956 until 1980. Dr. Walker coached not only the United States Olympic Team, but also Olympic teams from Ethiopia, Israel, Jamaica, Kenya and Trinidad and Tobago. He served as Chairman of the Physical Education and Recreation Departments and Chancellor at North Carolina Central University and retired as Chancellor Emeritus in 1986. Walker died in Durham on April 23, 2012 at age 93.