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U.S. sprinter Robert Taylor dies

Robert Taylor, a U.S. sprinter who won gold and silver medals in the 1972 Munich Olympics, has died. He was 59.

Taylor became ill Monday at the Missouri City school where he taught and was taken to a hospital, where he died Tuesday night, wife Cheryl said. She said he had had heart problems.

Taylor was a member of the 400-meter relay team that won the gold medal in Munich. He finished second in the 100 after barely making it to a preliminary race because of a scheduling mixup that saw two of his teammates miss qualifying heats.

"Robert had one of the greatest personalities," friend Terry Henson of Tyler told the Tyler Morning Telegraph. "His ability as an athlete was unmatched. He never really got his just due on how great an athlete he really was."

Taylor's son, Bobby, played for NFL teams the Philadelphia Eagles and the Seattle Seahawks.

Taylor was inducted into the Prairie View Interscholastic League Coaches Association Hall of Fame in Fort Worth in July. The league served as the governing body of extracurricular activities for black students during segregation. He also was inducted into the Texas Southern Hall of Fame.

"We called him the chief of the family," said sister Gwen Taylor of Tyler.

In addition to his wife, son and sister, he's survived by son Jonathan and daughter Cecilee, both of Houston, and three brothers, Peter, Elvin and Arthur Taylor, all of Tyler.

A wake was planned Sunday in Houston, with the funeral set for Monday.

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