Reprint of the Los Angeles
Times -- January 3, 1980
Onetime World's Fastest
Human, Wykoff, 70, Dies
By Shav Glick
Times Staff Writer
ALHAMBRA - Frank Wykoff,
first man to run 100 yards in 9.4 seconds and a gold medal
winner in three Olympic Games
died Tuesday night
of emphysema at La Vina Hospital in Altadena.
Wykoff, 70, who lived in
Alhambra, was hospitalized earlier Tuesday. He was able to
fulfill on of his last wishes, watching USC play Ohio
State in the Rose Bowl game on television. At
Glendale High in 1928, Wykoff won the National AAU 100
meters and the U. S. Olympic
trials in the 100.
He won four
100-meter races in the trials in one day and equaled
the world record in three of them.
finished fourth at Amsterdam, but won a gold medal as
a member of the 400 meter relay team.
In 1930 he set the world
100-yard record of 9.4. It stood until 1949,
when Mel Patton ran 9.3.
Wykoff went to USC and was
on of its great athletes of the 1930's.
In 1932, as a senior,
he was hampered by injuries but
managed to make the Olympic team again on the sprint relay
team, where he was anchor man and
won a second gold medal. Four years later, in a
remarkable comeback after
retiring from competition, Wykoff, at age 26, made his
third Olympic team in the 100 meters.
He finished fourth to Jesse Owens at
Berlin and ran on his third winning relay team.
The quartet of Wykoff, Owens, Ralph
Metcalfe and Foy Draper set a world record.
At USC Wykoff was dubbed
the World's Fastest Human. He won the
NCAA 100 In 1930 and 1931 and the
National AAU 100 In1931. As
a junior at Glendale High in 1927 Wykoff first came
to national prominence by winning the
National Junior AAU 100.
Following his graduation
from USC in 1932 Wykoff earned a master's degree in 1936
and became a teacher and administrator. He was
superintendent of schools at Carpinteria for 14 years
until 1950, when he was named administrator of special
schools for Los Angeles County dealing with juvenile
delinquents. He held that position until retiring in
During his administrative
years, Wykoff spoke at many organizations about the
importance of sportsmanship in youth.
"A foot race is much the
same as the race of life," Wykoff often said,
"You can make of it what you wish -- if you're willing
to pay the price of hard training."
A slogan of Wykoff's,
"Clean Speech, Clean Sport, Clean Scholarship, Clean
Life," was adopted by the YMCA in 1938.
Services are Friday at 2:30
p.m. at the Hillside Chapel at Rose Hills in Whittier.
He is survived by his wife, Ethel Mae Wykoff, a son,
David, of Downey; a daughter, Marjorie De Young of Ventura
and six grandchildren.
Other pages in this web
Frank C. Wykoff
Other pages at
FrankWykoff.com - Beyond The Cinder path
USA Track & Field Hall of
E-Mail concerning Frank Wykoff
Monday, 5-24-04 -- 10:38 PM
Carpinteria High School Hall of Fame
Mr. Joe Cantrell wrote:
saw your Frank Wykoff webpage referenced from a
Track & Field News message board. You might be
interested to know
that Mr. Wykoff is also in
the Carpinteria High School Athletic Hall of Fame
for his impact in our community, in particular the
part he played in maintaining and promoting the
Russell Cup track meet -- the oldest annual high
school meet in California. Also, we have some
video tape here at Carpinteria High that was
transferred from an old 16 mm silent film of the
Russell Cup meeting in either 1937 or 1938 (no one
seems quite certain which year). If I recall
correctly there is a brief sequence of tape
showing Mr. Wykoff at the meet. You have a
wonderfully historic website of both personal and
Thanks and best wishes.
Joe Cantrell, teacher/coach, Carpinteria High
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