Charles H. Moore ’51, an Olympic gold medalist who went on to set Cornell athletics on firm footing as athletic director in the 1990s, died Oct. 8 at his home in Pennsylvania. Moore was 91.
A fierce competitor on the track, he never lost a race in the 400-meter hurdles during an outstanding career that included a gold medal in the 1952 Summer Olympic Games in Helsinki, Finland. Moore set an Olympic record of 50.8 seconds on a rain-soaked track. He also won a silver medal as the third leg on the 4x400 relay team for the United States.
Moore later established a world record of 51.6 in the 440-yard hurdles at the British Empire Games in London. He set Cornell marks in the outdoor 440-yard dash (47.0) and the 400-meter intermediate hurdles (51.1). He received his bachelor’s in mechanical engineering in 1952.
He returned to Cornell in 1994 as director of athletics, promising to act as an agent of change and vowing to stay only five years, and did just that. Moore hired 21 of the 30 head coaches in the department at the time, and built or enhanced athletics facilities, including the Friedman Wrestling Center, the Friedman Strength and Conditioning Center, the Kane Sports Complex for track and soccer, and the Niemand*Robison Softball Field.