Milt Campbell, who became the first Black to win the Olympic decathlon in 1956 and went on to play professional football and become a motivational speaker, has died after a battle with prostate cancer. He was 78.

Linda Rusch, Campbell’s partner of 13 years, said Campbell died recently at his home in Gainesville, about 55 miles northwest of Atlanta. She said he had been fighting prostate cancer for a decade.

A native of Plainfield, N.J., Campbell was a rising high school senior when he won the silver medal for the decathlon at the 1952 Olympics in Helsinki, finishing second to Bob Mathias. Four years later, Campbell won the gold medal at the Olympic Games in Melbourne, Australia.
Campbell is a 1999 inductee into the National Track and Field Hall of Fame and was honored this year by the International Swimming Hall of Fame.

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