LeRoy Walker, the first African-American to head the U.S. Olympic committee, died Monday in Durham, North Carolina. He was 93. No cause of death was given.
Walker led the U.S. Olympic Committee from 1992 to 1996, playing an integral role in the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta. He led the group when the 2002 Winter Olympics headed to Salt Lake City.
He also coached Olympic track teams from Ethiopia, Israel, Jamaica, Kenya and Trinidad and Tobago before becoming the first Black coach of an American Olympic team, serving as head coach of the track squad in the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal. That year, the U.S. team brought home 22 medals, including gold in the long jump, discus, decathlon, 400-meter hurdles and both men's relays.
“We join the entire Olympic family in remembering and appreciating the vast contributions he made to the worldwide Olympic Movement throughout his 93 years of life," current U.S. Olympic Committee Chairman Scott Blackmun said Monday, the Associated Press reported. "He devoted himself to the betterment of sport and we were fortunate to have called him our president."
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(Photo: 1995 CHARLOTTE OBSERVER FILE PHOTO)