|Full name||David Cecil, 6th Marquess of Exeter|
9 February 1905|
Stamford, Lincolnshire, England
22 October 1981 (aged 76)|
Stamford, Lincolnshire, England
|Height||5 ft 10 in (178 cm)|
|Weight||10 st 10 lb (150 lb; 68 kg)|
|Club||University of Cambridge|
|Achievements and titles|
David George Brownlow Cecil, 6th Marquess of Exeter, KCMG (9 February 1905 - 22 October 1981), styled Lord Burghley before 1956 and also known as David Burghley, was an English athlete, sports official, peer, and Conservative Party politician. He won the gold medal in the 400 m hurdles at the 1928 Summer Olympics.
Born near Stamford, Lincolnshire, as heir to the 5th Marquess of Exeter, Lord Burghley was educated at Institut Le Rosey in Switzerland and Eton College and Magdalene College, Cambridge. At Cambridge, he was a member of the University Pitt Club.
A notable runner at school and at Cambridge, he continued with his athletics and won the British AAA championships in 120 yd from 1929 to 1931 and the 440 yd (400 m) hurdles from 1926 to 1928, and again in 1930 and 1932.
Burghley made his Olympic debut in Paris in 1924, when he was eliminated in the first round of the 110 metre hurdles event. At the 1928 Summer Olympics, Burghley was eliminated in the semifinal of the 110 metre hurdles competition, but won the 400 metres hurdles, beating second and third placed Americans Frank Cuhel and Morgan Taylor by 0.2 seconds. At the first Commonwealth Games in 1930, Burghley won both hurdling events and was also a member of the gold medal winning British 4×440 yards relay team. In 1927-1930 Burghley also set several British records, one of which, 24.7 s in the 220 yard hurdles, set in 1927, stood until 1950.
In 1931 Burghley was elected as Member of Parliament (MP) for Peterborough. He was granted a leave of absence to compete in the 1932 Summer Olympics, where he placed fourth in the 400 m hurdles event, fifth in the 110 m hurdles competition, and won a silver medal as a member of the British 4 × 400 metres relay team, which set a new European record in the process.
In 1933, Burghley became a member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC). Three years later he was elected President of the Amateur Athletic Association and Chairman of the British Olympic Association. In 1946 he became President of the International Amateur Athletic Federation (IAAF) and later acted as Chairman of the Organizing Committee for the 1948 Summer Olympics. Between 1952 and 1966 he was vice-president of the IOC and was a presidential candidate in 1952 and 1964.
As an IOC member and president of the IAAF, Burghley presented the medals for the 200 m at the Mexico Olympics in 1968 and appeared in some famous images of the Black Power salute given by Tommie Smith and John Carlos. When later asked what he had thought of the gloves, he said: "I thought they had hurt their hand."
Burghley was a member of the Conservative and Unionist Party and served as MP for Peterborough from 1931 until 1943. He was first elected in the 1931 General Election, when he ousted the sitting Labour MP J. F. Horrabin. Burghley was returned to the House of Commons again in the 1935 General Election. Burghley resigned his Commons seat in 1943 when he was appointed Governor of Bermuda, a post in which he served until 1945.
Lord Burghley married firstly in 1929, Lady Mary Theresa Montagu Douglas Scott (4 March 1904 - 1 June 1984), fourth daughter of Sir John Montagu Douglas Scott, 7th Duke of Buccleuch & 9th Duke of Queensberry and Lady Margaret Alice "Molly" Bridgeman. They were divorced in 1946. They had four children, nine grandchildren, thirteen great-grandchildren and one great-great-granddaughter:
In 1927, his final year at Magdalene College, Cambridge, Burghley amazed colleagues by sprinting around the Great Court at Trinity College in the time it took the college clock to toll 12 o'clock, inspiring the scene in the film Chariots of Fire in which Harold Abrahams accomplishes the same feat. The character Lord Andrew Lindsay in Chariots of Fire is based upon Burghley but he did not allow his name to be used because of the inaccurate historical depiction in the film. There was never a race in which Abrahams beat Burghley in this feat as the film suggests.
He was the first to run the 367 metres (401 yards) around the court in the 43.6 seconds that it takes to strike 12 o'clock. Known as the Great Court Run, students traditionally attempt to complete the circuit on the evening of the Matriculation Dinner.
| Presidents of the IAAF
Karl Ritter von Halt
| President of Organizing Committee for Summer Olympic Games
|Parliament of the United Kingdom|
| Member of Parliament for Peterborough
| Governor of Bermuda
Admiral Sir Ralph Leatham
| Rector of the University of St Andrews
The Earl of Crawford
|Peerage of the United Kingdom|
| Marquess of Exeter