Roger Bannister, first modern athlete to run mile in under 4 minutes, dies

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Roger Bannister breaks the 4 Minute Mile in 3 Minutes 59.4 Seconds on May 6, 1954. (Allsport UK/Getty Images)

LONDON (AP) – Roger Bannister, the first runner to break the 4-minute barrier in the mile, has died. He was 88.

Bannister’s family said in a statement that he died peacefully on Saturday in Oxford.

On a windy late afternoon in Oxford on May 6, 1954, Bannister ran four laps on a cinder track in 3 minutes, 59.4 seconds to crack the mythical 4-minute mile — a feat many had thought humanly impossible.

A few months later in 1954, Bannister beat Australian rival John Landy in the “Miracle Mile” or “Mile of the Century” at the Empire Games in Vancouver, British Columbia as both men ran under 4 minutes.

Bannister then gave up running to pursue a long and distinguished medical career.

Sir Roger Bannister poses for a photograph while attending the Morgan Stanley Great Britons Awards 2006 at the Guildhall on January 18, 2007 in London, England. (Photo by MJ Kim/Getty Images)

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