JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) — "Bullet" Bob Hayes, the Olympic gold medal sprinter and Dallas Cowboys receiver who was once deemed the fastest man alive, has died. He was 59. Hayes died late Wednesday in his hometown of Jacksonville, where he had battled liver and kidney ailments and prostate cancer. Shands Hospital spokeswoman Joanna Norris said Hayes died at 11:15 p.m.
Bob Hayes waves to the fans as he is driven into Texas Stadium on Sept. 23, 2001 for induction to the Dallas Cowboys Ring of Honor. By L.M. Otero, AP
Hayes earned the title "World's Fastest Human" and redefined the way the National Football League plays pass defense, but many of his accomplishments were later tainted by drug and alcohol addiction that landed him in jail and were part of the reason he was never inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame.
At the Tokyo Olympics in 1964, Hayes won the gold medal in the 100 meters, tying the then-world record of 10.05 seconds. He also anchored the U.S. 400-meter relay team that won in a world-record 39.06 seconds.
Hayes' relay split was a sensational 8.6. Nearly 20 years later, The Los Angeles Times called it "the most astonishing sprint of all time."
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