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Tuesday, January 2, 2007
Gibson dies; he once held 400-meter hurdles record

Associated Press

NEWTON, N.J. -- Johnny Gibson, who in 1927 set the world record for 400-meter hurdles, has died. He was 101.

Gibson, who also coached Seton Hall's track team from 1946 to 1972, died Friday after spending the past several years at the Barn Hill Care Center, a nursing home in Newton.

"He was a pretty healthy guy all his life," one of his sons, John Gibson Jr., said Tuesday.

Gibson set the world record of 52.6 seconds for the 400-meter hurdles on July 2, 1927, at the national championships in Lincoln, Neb.

He worked days running messages on Wall Street, actually running from building to building, according to The New York Times, which interviewed Gibson several times in his later years. His training including hurdling park benches.

The next year, Gibson failed to qualify for the final of his event at the 1928 Olympics in Amsterdam.

At Seton Hall, he coached sprinter Andy Stanfield, who won two gold medals at the 1952 Olympics and a silver at the 1956 games.