American marathon runner whose victory at the 1908 Olympic Marathon helped to spread the popularity of long-distance running in the United States. He was also the first man to win a marathon at the now-official distance of 26 miles and 385 yards.
He was an assistant manager at the sporting goods department of Bloomingdale Brothers in 1905. He first gained attention running when he finished fifth at the 1906 Boston Marathon.
After his win in the marathon at the 1908 Olympic Games, no American man would win the event until Frank Shorter in 1972.
He was born in into a family of Irish emigrants.
He and Kenya's Sammy Wanjiru are both winners of the Olympic Marathon.