A look behind the life of an Olympian: Family of 3 time Olympic gold medalist Bobby Morrow share who he was

Local News

HARLINGEN, Texas (KVEO) — It’s been 65-years since Bobby Morrow won three Olympic gold medals but his family says the man on the track was way more than what meets the eye. 

Both Morrow’s daughter and his life partner Judy Parker said above all the accomplishments and awards the man they knew and loved was a calm, humble person, and at heart, a farmer. 

“He worked on the tractors, he helped his dad with all the equipment, and he had to say at the farm and that’s always really what he wanted to do, he had no intention of ever being anything but a farmer. It’s crazy right,” said Parker. 

Parker said the San Benito native, Bobby Morrow learned to move fast from his mother. 

“His mother said he always did everything fast; she had to cook three meals a day because his family, they were farmers,” said Parker.

Eventually, moving fast transferred over to running fast for Morrow, who went on to compete in the 1956 Olympics in Melbourne, Australia, winning three gold medals. 

But after those accomplishments, Morrow met who would become his life partner until he died.

Judy Morrow said at the time she had no idea who Morrow was. 

“He said have you ever seen this, and I looked at it, and well it had his name on it I said no. It was a little sports card you know that had his picture in all of the numbers on the back. I said no, I’ve never seen it I didn’t know, I said that you, and he said yeah that’s me,” said Parker. 

Parker said most of all she recalls the humbleness of the man she grew to love. 

“He said all he did was run. He said I didn’t do anything. He said God just gave me the talent and the speed,” said Parker. 

Courtesy of Morrow-Kelton

Morrow’s daughter Elizabeth Morrow-Kelton remembers her close relationship with her father before he died. 

“He always told me that if you want something done then do it yourself and I mean I’m 46 years old and I still remember it and think about it and really live my life that way,” said Morrow-Kelton.

Parker explained how it was a life motto Morrow lived by even back then.

“He testified against the Olympic committee because they didn’t pay the Olympians enough money to travel.” Parker adds, “He said that if it wasn’t for his father farming his farm that he would not have had money to participate in the Olympics.”

Parker went on to say that Morrow had no regrets about the decision and if he felt like it was the right thing to do, he would pursue it. After Morrow was not on the 1960 Olympic Track and Field team, he eventually retreated from the spotlight and returned home doing what his family says made him smile but for a different reason. 

“He was the happiest when he was farming really anything plants flowers. Vegetables in the dirt and outside,” said Morrow-Kelton. 

Parker and Elizabeth both say Morrow lived out the rest of his life before he died surrounded by family and friends.

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