John J. Kelley

John J. Kelley

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John J. Kelley

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Not to be confused with John A. Kelley, another distance runner, similarly named.

John Joseph Kelley (born December 24, 1930 in Norwich, Connecticut, United States was the winner of the 1957 Boston Marathon and the marathon at the 1959 Pan American Games, and a member of two United States Olympic Marathon teams. He is often dubbed John "The Younger" to avoid confusion with John A. "Johnny" Kelley "The Elder", the similarly named winner of the 1935 and 1945 Boston Marathons. (Contrary to popular belief, these two John Kelleys are not related.)


Career Summary

An excellent competitive runner during his high school years at Bulkeley School in New London, Connecticut, Kelley began racing in marathons during his college years. From 1950 to 1954, he attended Boston University, a Massachusetts school located about a mile from the Boston Marathon finish line. While at Boston University, he would excel in team races and would run his first two Boston Marathons, in 1953 and 1954. He finished fifth in the 1953 race before following up with a 7th place finish the next year. After graduation from college, Kelley would finish 2nd in the 1956 Boston Marathon and made his way onto the U.S. Olympic Marathon team which competed in Melbourne, Australia during the same year. He would go on to win the Boston Marathon outright in 1957 while setting a new course record on the remeasured course. After his win at Boston, Kelley would win several...
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