Sir Roger Gilbert Bannister, CBE is an English former athlete best known for running the first mile in less than 4 minutes.
In the 1952 Olympics in Helsinki, Bannister set a British record in the 1500 metres, but did not win the medal he expected. This humiliation strengthened his resolve to be the first 4-minute miler.
This was finally achieved on May 6th 1954 at Iffley Road Track in Oxford, with Chris Chataway and Chris Brasher providing the pacing. When the announcer declared "The time was three...", the cheers of the crowd drowned-out the details of the result, which was 3 min 59.4 sec.
Bannister's record only lasted 46 days, and he was the first to admit that the 4-minute barrier had no actual significance. More notable was that he had reached this goal with so little training, while practising as a junior doctor.
Bannister went on to become a distinguished neurologist and Master of Pembroke College, Oxford, before retiring in 1993. When asked whether the 4-minute mile was his proudest achievement, he said he felt prouder of his contribution to academic medicine through research into the responses of the nervous system. Bannister is patron of the The MSA Trust.