Sir Roger Bannister turns 87, donates diaries to Oxford's library

Wednesday March 23rd, 2016

Sir Roger Bannister celebrated his 87th birthday by making his diaries public for the first time at Oxford's Bodleian Library, according to the Oxford Mail.

Bannister is the first person to break four minutes for the mile, a feat he accomplished on May 6, 1954 on Oxford's Iffley Road track. Bannister is also known for his work as a neurologist.

Bannister was also named Sports Illustrated's first Sportsperson of the Year.

Bannister's donated collection, which reportedly filled more than 50 boxes, includes letters, diaries, speeches, articles, photographs and film from his career over the years.

SI Vault – Epstein: Sir Roger's Run

“I am not able to walk very much now, so that keeps me confined to my flat most of the time, but my daughters and grandchildren come to see me often and they keep me busy,” Bannister said. “My study is also by the living room and the papers that are now at the Bodleian go right back to my running days, so working on them has been my main activity over the past year. I'm delighted they have gone to the Bodleian, because to be honest I would not know what to do with them otherwise. My children understand, because it means anyone with an interest will be able to look at them and they can be kept at there in perpetuity.”

Bannister was diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease in 2014. He has published several books, including an autobiography, on the historic race.

The library is accessible to Oxford University students and staff but members of the public can access.

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