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Olympic Legend Rafer Johnson Passes Away At 86

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Published 13 hours ago

Rafer Johnson, a decorated Olympian and American hero, has reportedly passed away at age 86.

According to TMZ, Johnson passed away at his home in Sherman Oaks, California on Wednesday (December 2). He was surrounded by his family.

Johnson was a very accomplished athlete, actor, philanthropist and even hero. In 1968, he was one of the men who tackled and subdued Sirhan Sirhan seconds after he assassinated Robert Kennedy at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles.

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As an athlete, he won a gold medal in the decathlon at the 1960 Olympics in Rome. He won the silver in the same event four years earlier at the 1956 Olympic Games.

Johnson was such a talented athlete that the L.A. Rams selected him in the 1959 NFL Draft despite never playing a snap of college football.

After his storied career as an athlete, Johnson became an actor, appearing in movies including Wild in the Country with Elvis Presley, Pirates of Tortuga and the 1989 James Bond film, A License to Kill.

Johnson married his wife Betsy in 1971 and they had two children together, daughter Jennifer Ann Johnson and son Joshua Ray Johnson.

Photo: David Livingston/Getty Images

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