Rafer Johnson, 1960 Fresno Athletic Hall of Fame Inductee

Holder of the Olympic decathlon championship, symbolic of rating as the world’s greatest athlete, Rafer Johnson has put the small Fresno County community of Kingsburg on the athletic map in a big way. In addition to his Olympic crown, Rafer won AAU decathlon titles in 1956, 1958, and 1960, the Pan-American Games championship in 1955, and second place in the 1956 Olympics. He first broke the world record in Kingsburg and subsequently raised it in 1958 and 1960. Johnson was born in Hillsboro, Texas, August 18, 1935, but has lived most of his life in Kingsburg. He was an all-around athlete at Kingsburg High School, lettering in football, basketball, and baseball as well as track and making all-league teams in each sport. At UCLA, he concentrated almost exclusively on track, although he found time to play one season of basketball – and was a regular. A leader off the athletic field as well as on it, he also served one year as UCLA’s student body president.

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