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Mel Patton

American athlete Melvin Emery "Mel" Patton was born on November 16, 1924. At the 1948 Olympics in London, he won a gold medal in the 100-meter dash.

Born in Los Angeles, California, Mel Patton or Pell Mell, as he was nicknamed in the late 1940s, made his mark in track and field while a student at the University of Southern California, where he was coached by famous Dean Cromwell.

He won the NCAA 100 yd (91 m) dash title in 1947 and in 1948 and 1949 completed the 100 and 220 yd (91 and 201 m) sprint double at that same meet. In 1947, he tied the 100 yd (91 m) dash world record of 9.4, then lowered it to 9.3 the following year. In 1949, he set a 220 yd (201 m) world record on a straightaway of 20.2, breaking a Jesse Owens record.

In the Olympic Trials, he suffered a rare loss to Barney Ewell in the 100 m final, then in the Olympic Games placed only fifth in the 100 m. He atoned for that disappointment by taking two gold medals in the 200 m and the 4 x 100 m relay.

After retiring from competition, he was a track coach before entering the electronics industry.



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