Name: Billy Mills
Sport: Track and Field
Event(s): 10,000-meter, Marathon
DOB: 6/30/1938
Birthplace: Pine Ridge, S.D.
Hometown: Pine Ridge, S.D.
High School: Haskell Indian Nations University (Lawrence, Kan.)
College: University of Kansas
Olympic Experience
  • Olympian (1964); Olympic medalist (1 gold)
  • Tokyo 1964, gold (10,000-meter)
Personal: Native American of Oglala Lakota (Sioux) descent...Grew up on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation…Was orphaned at age 12 following both his mother’s and father’s passing...Participated in boxing, football and track at the Haskell Indian School...Was an All-American in cross-country at the University of Kansas in 1958 and 1959...Won the individual title in the Big Eight Conference cross-country tournament in 1960...Set an Olympic record in the 10,000-meters at the Olympic Games Tokyo 1964, becoming the first American to win a distance race at an Olympic Games...His 10,000 win at the Tokyo 1964 Games was voted the Upset of the Year by the Associated Press...Honored as a warrior by the Lakota tribe and given the name “Makata Taka Hela,” meaning “respects the earth.”