Ryun, (James Ronald) Jim(1947– ) track athlete; born in Wichita, Kans. In 1964, while a high school senior, he ran a 3:55.3 mile. In 1966, while still in his teens, he set a world record time of 3:51.3 for the mile. (In 1967 he lowered this to 3.51.1.) In 1967 he established a world record for the 1,500 meters, clocking 3:33.1. Never as successful in top-class competition as he was against the clock, at the Olympic Games of 1964, 1968, and 1972 he nevertheless won a silver medal in the 1968 1,500 meter run. He turned professional after the 1972 Olympics, but after suffering several injuries, he retired in 1976.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.