Former runner nicknamed "Marvelous Mal" who won a total of three gold medals at the 1948 and 1952 Olympic Games. He also won gold in the 400m, 800m, and 4x400m relay events at the 1951 Pan American Games in Buenos Aires.
He served in the U.S. Armed Forces with the Tuskegee Airmen during World War II.
He became the first African-American athlete to win the James E. Sullivan Award as the best amateur athlete in the United States.
His daughter is news anchor Fredricka Whitfield.
He was the first track and field athlete since Jesse Owens to be inducted into the Ohio State Varsity O Hall of Fame.