Watch: Marshall Walter Taylor becoming a world cycling champ

TheGrio commemorates the greatest American sprinter in history, Marshall Walter Taylor in ‘Keeping Black History Alive’.

Marshall Walter Taylor was born in Indianapolis, Indiana, growing up in poverty alongside his eight siblings. As a young boy, Taylor performed tricks on his bicycle and would routinely dress in a military uniform which led to the nickname “The Major.” 

In 1896 when Taylor was 18 he qualified for his first competition, a six-day race at Madison Square Garden. Thousands of fans would pack Velodromes to watch his high-speed races. He would later capture the most coveted of all records, the one-mile sprint along with being named world champion in cycling.

Over a century would pass before another Black cyclist claimed the world title.

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For more episodes of ‘Keeping Black History Alive’ click here!