1960 Olympic champ, Hall of Famer Bill Mulliken passes away

1960 Olympic gold medalist Bill Mulliken passed away Thursday at the age of 74.

Mulliken was a standout at Miami University of Ohio in the late 1950s, winning the school’s first-ever NCAA title in 1959. He won the 200 breaststroke at the 1960 Rome Olympics, one of the first Olympic competitions after the butterfly was added as a separate stroke. Prior to that, many athletes were using a rough version of the modern-day butterfly technique in breaststroke races. Butterfly was first recognized as a separate stroke in 1952.

Mulliken also won gold at the 1959 Pan Am Games and had a national A.A.U. title to his name. His Olympic win was the first conventional breaststroke medal for an American since 1924.

He was inducted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame in 1984. You can read an article on his induction here.

Miami University also published a story on Mulliken’s life, death and Redhawks career. You can read it here.

Leave a Reply

7 Comment threads
0 Thread replies
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
7 Comment authors
newest oldest most voted
Lane Four

I had no idea Bill was not well. He did so much to save the swim program at Miami (Ohio) University. He will most certainly be missed.


Bill was a great personality who enjoyed every moment. In the village he would sing “Primrose Lane” life is a holiday, a western song by Jerry Wallace 1959. I just watched it on U-Tube. He would say how he felt he could win although not the favorite. After the semi’s he was convinced and because it was Bill you listened. He may have even said something to Terry Gathercole AUS. the WR holder. He was another great one who coached in Midland TX for a number years and active on Nat.AAU committees and then later in Australia. They were all together at the 100 what he wanted and he laid them out in the second. He loved reunions helping in… Read more »

Skip Thompson

Nice article on Bill Mulliken however this statement is false “His Olympic win was the first breaststroke medal for an American since 1924. Joe Verdeur, Keith Carter, and Robert Sohl went 1-2-3 in 1948 Olympics in the 200 Breaststroke. Now this statement would be true if you stated it was orthodox breaststroke, which is breaststroke without the dolphin kick. I believe 1948 is the only time that the USA went 1-2-3 in the 200 Breaststroke event.

About Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson just can’t stay away from the pool. A competitive career of almost two decades wasn’t enough for this Minnesotan, who continues to get his daily chlorine fix. A lifelong lover of writing, Jared now combines the two passions as Senior Reporter for SwimSwam.com, covering swimming at every level. He’s an …

Read More »

Don't want to miss anything?

Subscribe to our newsletter and receive our latest updates!