Adventure

Boston Marathon Legend Dies at 80

Kelley was 8-time U.S. champ

John J. Kelley, the winner of the 1957 Boston Marathon and the dominant American marathon runner of the 1950s, died early Sunday morning at his home in Connecticut of complications from melanoma. Kelley, who was 80, was also a two-time Olympian and an eight-time winner of New York's Yonkers marathon, which also served as the U.S. marathon championships. Kelley's death was first reported by long-time Runner's World editor and 1968 Boston Marathon winner Amby Burfoot, who trained under Kelley as a high school runner in Connecticut. Kelley shared his name with John A. Kelley, a two-time Boston winner, and was widely known as Johnny the Younger. An English teacher and high school cross country coach by profession, Kelley also finished as runner-up at Boston five times and held a personal best of 2:14:33, a time that would still have ranked him seventh in the United States last year.

Read more at the New York Times

Our mission to inspire readers to get outside has never been more critical. In recent years, Outside Online has reported on groundbreaking research linking time in nature to improved mental and physical health, and we’ve kept you informed about the unprecedented threats to America’s public lands. Our rigorous coverage helps spark important debates about wellness and travel and adventure, and it provides readers an accessible gateway to new outdoor passions. Time outside is essential—and we can help you make the most of it. Making a financial contribution to Outside Online only takes a few minutes and will ensure we can continue supplying the trailblazing, informative journalism that readers like you depend on. We hope you’ll support us. Thank you.
Contribute to Outside
Filed To: News
More Adventure