Social icons Facebook Twitter Google+ RSS Feed Phone

Rafer Johnson Speaker Fees

Rafer Johnson Agent


Medal Winners, Olympics, Track & Field


Olympic Decathlon Gold Medalist

Travels From:


Fee Range:

$5,001 - $10,000

Contact For Rafer Johnson Booking Agent Info

Rafer Johnson Booking Agency Profile

Olympic gold medalist, Rafer Johnson, was born on August 18, 1935 in Hillsboro, Texas. Johnsonis a former USA decathlete.

In high school, Rafer Johnson played on the school's football, baseball and basketball teams. As a versatile athlete, he was attracted to the decathlon after seeing double Olympic Champion Bob Mathias compete and told his coach "I could have beaten most of those guys in that meet". He competed in his first meet in 1954, as a freshman at UCLA. His progress in the event was impressive, and he broke the world record in his fourth competition. He also pledged Pi Lambda Phi Fraternity, America's first nondiscriminatory fraternity while at UCLA. In 1955, in Mexico City, he won the title at the Pan American Games. Johnson qualified for both the decathlon and the long jump events for the 1956 Summer Olympics in Melbourne. However, he was hampered by an injury, and forfeited his place in the long jump. Despite this, he managed to take second place in the decathlon, finishing behind his compatriot Milt Campbell. It would turn out to be his last defeat in the event.

Due to injury, Johnson missed the 1957 and 1959 seasons (the latter due to a car accident), but in 1958 and 1960, he improved the world record two more times. The crown on his career came in 1960, at the Rome Olympics. His most important opponent was Yang Chuan-Kwang of Taiwan. Yang also studied at UCLA, and the two were training together and had become friends, training under legendary UCLA track coach Elvin C. "Ducky" Drake. After nine events, Johnson led Yang, but Yang was thought to be capable of overcoming this gap in the final event, the 1500 m. Johnson however managed to cling on to Yang, and won the gold.

At UCLA, Rafer Johnson also played basketball under legendary coach John Wooden, and was a starter on the 1959-60 Men's Basketball team.

Rafer Johnson was named Sports Illustrated's Sportsman of the Year in 1958 and won the James E. Sullivan Award as the top amateur athlete in the United States in 1960, breaking that award's color barrier. In 1994, he was elected into the first class of the World Sports Humanitarian Hall of Fame. In 1998, he was named one of ESPN's 100 Greatest North American Athletes of the 20th Century. In 2006, the NCAA named him one of the 100 Most Influential Student Athletes of the past 100 years.[citation needed]

After this gold medal, Johnson ended his athletic career. In 1960, he began acting in motion pictures and worked as a sportscaster. In 1968, he worked on the presidential election campaign of Robert Kennedy and was one of those present who helped wrestle Kennedy's assassin, Sirhan Sirhan to the floor. Sixteen years later, he was chosen to ignite the Olympic Flame during the opening ceremonies of the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles.

Johnson's autobiography, "The Best That I Can Be" was published in 1998.

Related Speakers



More Olympics

DISCLAIMER: PFP Sports Talent Agency does not claim to represent itself as the exclusive agent for Rafer Johnson. PFP Sports Talent Agency is a booking agency that represents organizations seeking to hire pro athletes and sports personalities such as Rafer Johnson for speaking engagements, personal appearances, product endorsements and corporate entertainment. Fees on this website are estimates and are intended only as a guideline. Exact fees are determined by a number of factors, including the location of event, the talent’s schedule, requested duties and supply and demand. PFP Sports Talent Agency makes no guarantees to the accuracy of information found on this website and does not warrant that any information or representations contained on this website will be accurate or free from errors. We are often asked how can I find out who is Rafer Johnson's agent? To find Rafer Johnson appearance fees and booking agent details, you can contact the agent, representative or manager through PFP Sports Talent Agency for speaking fee costs and availability. PFP Sports Talent Agency can help your company choose the ideal sports personality for your next marketing campaign. To hire Rafer Johnson for an appearance, speaking event or endorsement, contact Rafer Johnson's booking agent for more information.