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Olympic great, Bob Beamon, is an American track and field athlete, who held the world long jump record from 1968 to 1991. Beamon is best known for his long-standing world record in the long jump at the Mexico Olympics in 1968, which remained the world record for 23 years.
Robert Beamon was born in 1946 in New York City. He was educated at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, the University of Texas at El Paso, and Adelphi University. He competed in track and field in college, and in 1968 he won the United States national championship in the long jump. At the 1968 Olympic Games in Mexico City, he long jumped 8.9 m (29 ft 2 1/2 in), winning the gold medal and breaking the previous record by 55 cm (21 1/2 in). He repeated his national long jump championship in 1969. Beamon retired from amateur track and field competition before the 1972 Olympics but began competing professionally in 1973. His record, regarded by many as one of the greatest athletic achievements, gained fame for its longevity. Beamon's record fell in 1991, when American athlete Mike Powell broke it by long jumping 8.95 m (29 ft 4 1/2 in) at the world championships in Tokyo.
Shortly after the Mexico City Olympics, Bob Beamon was drafted by the Phoenix Suns basketball team. In 1972 he graduated from Adelphi University with a degree in sociology.
Beamon is in the National Track and Field Hall of Fame, and when the United States Olympic Hall of Fame started to induct athletes in 1983, Beamon was one of the first inductees. Bob Beamon currently lives in Miami, Florida and is married to Milana Walter Beamon, a film producer.