Jim Hines, the first man to run the 100m in less than ten seconds, died at the age of 76.
In 1968, he broke the mark with a hand-timed 9.9 seconds at the US Championships.
Hines then beat his own record shortly after, capturing gold at the 1968 Olympics on an electronic timer in Mexico City.
His record stood for nearly 15 years until Calvin Smith broke it in 1983 with a timing of 9.93.
That is the longest an athlete has held the men’s 100m record since the International Amateur Athletic Foundation began keeping track 110 years ago.
World Athletics issued a statement announcing his death. The news has “deeply saddened” the organization.
On Twitter, both the Olympics and USA Track and Field paid respect to Hines. “The sport has lost a legend,” USA Track and Field said in a statement.
Hines was born in Arkansas in 1946 but grew up in Oakland, California.
He had an early love of sports, namely baseball, but as a teenager he demonstrated a genuine knack for sprinting. He went to Texas Southern University and competed for the Tigers track team before going on to compete in national championships and the Olympics.
In addition to winning the 100m at the Olympics in Mexico, he was also a member of the gold-winning US 4x100m relay team.
He left sprinting immediately after the Olympics to join the NFL.
He played three years in the NFL for the Miami Dolphins and the Kansas City Chiefs.