Who is Major Taylor?

Marshall “Major” Taylor was born November 26 1878. At the time of his youth, bicycle racing was a prominent sport.

He began his amateur career while in his teens, excelling in the 1 mile sprints. At 18, he turned professional in the year 1896. Just 3  years after he turned pro,  he captured the world sprint cycling championship in 1899 – becoming the second African American to receive a world title in athletics. Bantam weight boxing champ George Dixon was the first.

In 1900, thwarted by racism in previous attempts, he had become the American sprint champion. From 1901 – 1903, he went on the European circuit winning 42 of the 57 races he entered, defeating the champions of France, Germany and England.

He died On June 28 1932 at 53.