Johnny Kelley, Boston Marathon legend, dies at 97
Johnny Kelley, a major figure in the history of the Boston Marathon, has died at age 97, according to broadcast reports.
Kelley, a member of the USA Track & Field Hall of Fame, was one of the most colorful characters in the history of America's oldest marathon.
He won the race in 1935 and 1945, and finished second a record seven times. But it was his longevity for which Kelley will be remembered best. A starter on race day 61 times, Kelley completed 58 Boston Marathons, also a record, and recorded 18 finishes in the top 10.
His stepson, Dave DeLong, said Kelley died quietly at a nursing home where he had just moved from his Dennis home the same day.
Born September 6, 1907, John Adelbert Kelley was the oldest of five boys and five girls growing up in West Medford, Massachusetts. He ran track first at Medford High School, and later at Arlington High School after the family moved to the nearby town.