Henry Carr, track gold medalist, Giants DB, dies at age 73

Henry Carr of the USA fires out of the starting blocks during an international track meet.  

Getty Images

Henry Carr, an Olympic track gold medalist from Arizona State who went on to play defensive back for the New York Giants, died Friday, May 29, in Griffin, Ga. He was 73.

Carr, an NCAA champion for ASU, won a gold medal in the 200 meters at the 1964 Tokyo Olympics at age 21. His time of 20.3 seconds was a world record at the time. He also anchored a world-record-setting 4×400 relay team that included Ollan Cassell, Mike Larrabee and another former ASU athlete, Ulis Williams.

His speed caught the attention of NFL scouts, and rather than continue his running career, Carr signed with the New York Giants in 1964 after being drafted in the fourth round. He played three seasons for New York as a defensive back.

"Winning the Olympics was more of a personal, individual achievement," Carr told The Associated Press in 1966. "I think football is even more of an achievement for me. I can do more concrete things for myself and use football as a steppingstone for the future, along with my Olympic connections.

"I was a champion and I quit a champion."

Services are scheduled for Saturday, June 6, in Griffin, Ga.