William Harrison Dillard was born July 8, 1923, in Cleveland, Ohio, and was given the nickname “Bones” for his slender build while in grade school. He would later go on to become one of the nation’s most notable track-and-field athletes. Now, in this biography, he shares his life story. The eventual winner of four Olympic medals, he attended the same high school as his friend and hometown hero, Jesse Owens. He was a successful athlete in college and served in the Ninety-Second Infantry (the Buffalo Soldiers) during World War II, where he distinguished himself in the service of his country. After the war, Bones continued his athletic career, winning eighty-two consecutive races over a span of eleven months, during 1947 and 1948. He then qualified to represent his country at the 1948 Olympics in London and again in 1952 in Helsinki, matching and setting records at both. Following his historic Olympic career, he met and married Joy Clemetson, a prominent member of the Jamaican National Softball Team; together, they built a family. Bones went on to careers in public relations, sportscasting, and education. Considered to be one of the greatest male sprinters and hurdlers in history, he was inducted into the USA Track and Field Hall of Fame in 1974 and received numerous other honors. Even so, he was and still is a gracious, courteous, humble, generous, and courageous athlete—a genuine American hero. “Harrison Dillard is an amazing man. He is admirable not only for his athletic accomplishments, but also for his character, showing a unique awareness of how the choices we make define ourselves. He has faced crucial and challenging decisions and issues throughout this life and never turned away, not one time.” —Bill Cosby
Michael McIntosh was born in Kingston, Jamaica, and migrated to Toronto, Canada, in 1970. As a youngster he attended Calabar High School in Jamaica, where he competed in track and field at the high school championships and was coached by the great Jamaican Olympian Herb McKenley. In August of 1972, he was the gold medalist on the record-breaking Canadian team for the 4x400m relay and the silver medalist in the 800m at the Canadian National Junior Championships. He went on to be a member of the Canadian National Junior team coaching staff in 1983 and coached a number of athletes who represented Canada at the international level. In the 1970s and ’80s he assisted many US colleges in the recruiting of track-and-field athletes. McIntosh’s involvement in track and field has spanned more than five decades, including competition, coaching, and administration. He has been friends with Harrison Dillard for more than thirty-five years, serving as both the coauthor of Bones and Harrison Dillard’s senior advisor.