Trojan, Australian Great Murray Rose Dies
April 15, 2012
Former USC swimmer Murray Rose, a four-time Olympic gold medalist for Australia and a five-time NCAA champion as a Trojan, died Sunday from leukemia. He was 73.
Rose, one of the world's all-time swimming greats, won gold medals in the 400-meter freestyle, 1500 free and 800 free relay at the 1956 Melbourne Olympics, becoming the youngest (at 17) Olympian in any sport to win three golds.
Then at the 1960 Rome Olympics, he added a gold (400 free), silver (1500 free) and bronze (800 free relay). Rose set 15 world records, including being the first to break the 18-minute barrier in the 1500-meter freestyle.
At USC, he captured 3 NCAA freestyle championships in 1961 (220, 440 and 1500 yards) and 2 more in 1962 (440, 1500). The 1962 team captain, his five NCAA crowns are tied for fourth most in school history. He also won eight Pacific Coast titles for USC.
He was a junior Australian record holder while growing up in Sydney. After his swimming career, he became a businessman, sports marketer and television announcer.
"I'm just extremely sad at the passing of one of the greatest swimmers of all time and a great mate,'' former USC teammate and fellow Australian Olympian John Konrads told AP.
"Murray Rose is part of the swimming DNA in this country,'' Swimming Australia president David Urquhart said to AP. "His success inspired a generation and our thoughts and prayers are with his family and close friends during this difficult time.''