Sir Roger Gilbert Bannister, CH, CBE (born 23 March 1929) is an English former middle-distance athlete, physician and academic, who ran the first sub-four-minute mile.
In the 1952 Olympics in Helsinki, Bannister set a British record in the 1500 metres but finished fourth. This strengthened his resolve to be the first 4-minute miler.
He achieved this feat on 6 May 1954 at Iffley Road track in Oxford, with Chris Chataway and Chris Brasher providing the pacing. When the announcer declared "The time was three...", the cheers of the crowd drowned out Bannister's exact time, which was 3 min 59.4 sec.
Bannister's record lasted just 46 days. He had reached this record with minimal training, while practising as a junior doctor.
Bannister went on to become a distinguished neurologist and Master of Pembroke College, Oxford, before retiring in 1993. When asked whether the 4-minute mile was his proudest achievement, he said he felt prouder of his contribution to academic medicine through research into the responses of the nervous system. Bannister is patron of the MSA Trust. He was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease in 2011.