Billy Mills (Track & Field) 1953-57
Mills grew up on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation for the Oglala Lakota Tribe in Pine Ridge, S.D. Growing up Mills participated in boxing and running but did not hone his skills on the track until he came to Lawrence, Kan., and Haskell Institute. Following his time at Haskell, the South Dakota native went onto star at the University of Kansas, where he was a three-time All-American and a Big 8 champion. Aside from his collegiate prowess, Mills did exceptionally well on the international stage, winning Gold in the 10,000 meters during the 1964 Olympics in Tokyo, where he became only the second Native American to capture Gold. The heralded Olympian continued to run after his Tokyo experience, breaking U.S. records in two events (10,000 meters and three mile run), as well as a world record in the six mile. Mills currently lives in Sacramento, Calif., where he is a spokesperson for ‘Running Strong for American Indian Youth' organization. He is also a member of numerous Hall of Fames throughout the nation, including the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame as well as the National Distance Running Hall of Fame.