Track Legend Mel Patton Dies


USC has a glorious track history and one of those who helped create it was sprinter Mel Patton, who won two gold medals at the 1948 London Olympics. He won five NCAA titles, including the 100-yard race three times (1947-49). His 100 time of 9.3 ranks second on USC’s all-time list. And how many USC athletes made the cover of Time and Life magazine?

Patton died May 9 in Fallbrook. He was 89.


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  • john wolcott

    89 sounds like a full life, at least in terms of years

    Of course, the generations coming up will probably see life expectancies in the 90s, approaching 100.

    But with the decline of common civility, the warming of the planet, the high cost increases of food and shelter etc etc, perhaps the best years of earthlings are behind us.

    • marvgoux1

      Not another global warmist.

  • ThaiMex

    Truly legendary…Years ago, I recall looking at my High School “Wall of Fame” and seeing Mel Patton’s name posted for holding the 100 and 220 sprint records. I believe his name still stands at the top….As track and field goes today, it is unlikely we will ever see another like Mel Patton.

    • NOBSisdaMAN

      Buzz off. This is a FAMILY matter.

      • NOBSisdaMAN

        Don’t agree totally with you Larry. Mel was a 1%er. The guy above is a bottom 1%er. He could care less about Mel.

    • Larry Harris

      Your respectful post is appreciated…and not just by Trojans. Thanks for the input.