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R.I.P. Larry James

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  • #16
    Very sad news. I saw him run a few times at Franklin Field and as a youngster was inspired; he was the most fluid beautiful runner I ever saw. When he rounded the final curve, it was a sweet melody.

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    • #17
      Forty years to think about it and I still can't figure out how Lee Evans willed himself to edge Larry James at Mexico City. Larry James was a class act and a great runner too easily overlooked.

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      • #18
        Larry James is my epitome of what a quarter-miler looks like: tall and lanky with a long, flowing stride--the most graceful quarter man I've ever seen.

        But the truly remarkable thing was how that the stride perfectly fit his manner. He was a beautiful person whose grace and warmth belied any competitive instinct. And yet that instinct was there; it had to be for him to be as successful as he was, but I still never saw it. He was humble, to a fault at times; it always seemed easier for him to talk of others than about himself.

        To have known such greatness is a blessing.

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        • #19
          I well remember when Larry played second fiddle to Otis Hill at White Plains HS, being more of a hurdler. Hill was the star 1/4 miler. Wow, did he ever blossom in the one-lapper!

          As a side note, does anyone know what Otis Hill did after HS ?

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          • #20
            I met Larry a few years back at a USATF convention. He was the head of the Budget and Finance committee. He was also my idol growing up as a quarter miler so when I met him it was pretty exciting. I remembered this long-legged, tall guy who was fast as hell - his nickname way back when was The Mighty Burner. Funny that when I met him, I discovered he wasn't that tall. As someone said above, he ran very tall.

            In the Lee Evans book, The Last Protest, Evans talks about Larry a lot. Being a west coast guy, he heard how fast Larry was and you can sense the concern he had over James coming out west. If you really want to know what was going on back then, in both the track and civil rights worlds, read that book.

            Larry was the AD at Stockton College and USATF NJ always had youth meets there because he was committed to helping kids be exposed to the sport.

            He was my Roger Maris of track...Maris was always my favorite baseball player when everyone else was dedicated to The Mick. Lee Evans was faster than Larry James but James was my favorite. Very sad to lose him.

            -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
            Here is an e mail from Bill Roe about Larry's passing:

            It is a sad day for all of us. This was a guy who could be warm and funny when the situation called for it, and all business if that was required, and mix humor with business to diffuse the tension of a particular topic. Loved and respected by athletes of his generation and those of today whom he served as a pool manager. We are so lucky to have been associated with him, and to have his devotion to USATF and today's Olympians.


            His memory will carry on through his Legacy Fund at Stockton. He called me yesterday to chat about it and thank me for my support of it, and then attended our Budget call last night. I was in shock for what seemed hours as I read the release from Stockton this afternoon. I am still shocked, even though we knew this day would come sooner rather than later. I predict I will not get through his moment during our remembrances section of the Opening Session in Reno without losing it...



            Rest in peace, Larry!

            Bill Roe
            ------------------------------------------------------------

            Rest in peace indeed.

            Joe Lanzalotto
            Joe Lanzalotto

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            • #21
              Originally posted by dukehjsteve
              I well remember when Larry played second fiddle to Otis Hill at White Plains HS, being more of a hurdler. Hill was the star 1/4 miler. Wow, did Larry ever blossom in the one-lapper!

              As a side note, does anyone know what Otis Hill did after HS ?

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              • #22
                Saw Don Paige today (he lives in Durham) and he was at that tribute for Larry that Walt Murphy mentioned. Don said Larry James was an absolute prince of a guy who handled dealing with a terminal illness better than anybody he had ever seen.

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                • #23
                  Originally posted by dukehjsteve
                  Originally posted by dukehjsteve
                  I well remember when Larry played second fiddle to Otis Hill at White Plains HS, being more of a hurdler. Hill was the star 1/4 miler. Wow, did Larry ever blossom in the one-lapper!

                  As a side note, does anyone know what Otis Hill did after HS ?
                  Didn`t Hill wind up at Villa for a while?
                  Another fluid looking sprinterhurdler from that era was Ollie Hunter New Rochelle HS.
                  Tom Hyland:
                  "squack and wineturtle get it"

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                  • #24
                    Larry James will be missed

                    Larry James will be sorely missed by all who knew him.
                    A great man who has touched thousands through his kindness.
                    Here is a tribute from one of his friends http://ramscrosscountry.blogspot.com...ill-burns.html

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                    • #25
                      Originally posted by wineturtle
                      Originally posted by dukehjsteve
                      Originally posted by dukehjsteve
                      I well remember when Larry played second fiddle to Otis Hill at White Plains HS, being more of a hurdler. Hill was the star 1/4 miler. Wow, did Larry ever blossom in the one-lapper!

                      As a side note, does anyone know what Otis Hill did after HS ?
                      Didn`t Hill wind up at Villa for a while?
                      Another fluid looking sprinterhurdler from that era was Ollie Hunter New Rochelle HS.
                      Hill went to Southern U.

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                      • #26
                        Larry James was a bit better than 52.0 for the 400 hurdles - in 1970 he won the WUG 400h in Turin in 50.2 (plus a relay gold). A lovely athlete to watch.

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                        • #27
                          I am really moved to seee that anyone can remember this graceful
                          champion 40 years later, especially because he was not what we
                          commonly name a "number one" as an athlete then...
                          As a man, sure he was a special one.
                          R.I.P Mister Larry JAMES.

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                          • #28
                            Originally posted by 79.
                            I am really moved to see that anyone can remember this graceful
                            champion 40 years later, especially because he was not what we
                            commonly name a "number one" as an athlete then...
                            As a man, sure he was a special one.
                            R.I.P Mister Larry JAMES.

                            Comment


                            • #29
                              Another nice, long obituary:

                              http://www.courierpostonline.com/articl ... /811160366

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