Born Herbert James Elliot on February 25, 1938 in Subiaco, Western Australia, Herb Elliot was an Australian athlete best known as the world’s greatest middle distance runner during his time. It was in August 1958 when he set a world record in the mile run with 3 minutes and 54.5 seconds. He also set a world record in 1500 meters with 3.36 seconds later that month and he also won a gold medal in the 1960 Rome Olympics and broke his own record with a time of 3 minutes and 35.6 seconds.
He retired shortly afterwards because he already had it all – set the world record – and he was happy living with his wife and his baby. According to him, “I went to Cambridge University straight after the Rome Olympics… I was married, we had our first baby and I had lots of other things to occupy and fill my life with other than running.” He ran again the half-mile in the 1962 University v AAA match, but only because he was asked to carry the torch, not to compete.