Roger Gilbert Bannister (born March 23, 1929) is a former British athlete best known as the first man to run the mile in less than four minutes, and a distinguished neurologist. He was born in Harrow, Middlesex, England.
Bannister was educated at the City of Bath Boys' Grammar School, University College School, London, Exeter College and Merton College, Oxford, and at St. Mary's Hospital Medical School, London.
This historic event took place on May 6, 1954 at Iffley Road track in Oxford and was watched by about 3,000 spectators during a meet between British AAA and Oxford University. With winds up to 25 miles per hour, the event was almost cancelled. However, the persistent Bannister prevailed and was rewarded with the honour of running the "miracle mile". His time was 3 min 59.4 s. The race was paced by Chris Brasher and Chris Chataway, both of whom went on to establish their own stellar track performances.
On 21 June, his record was broken by John Landy of Australia, with a time of 3 min 58 s.
On 7 August, at the British Empire games in Vancouver, B.C., Bannister met Landy for the first time: Bannister won in 3 min 58.8 s, 0.6 s under his own record, but 0.8 s over Landy's.
His record-setting mile run was called the "Miracle Mile" because some doubted a four-minute-mile was possible. Bannister wore the number 41 on his jersey that day.
He was the first recipient of Sports Illustrated magazine's "Sportsman of the Year" award.
A medical student at the time, Bannister retired from athletics in 1954 to pursue a career in neurology. He was knighted for his services to neurology in 1975.