Murray Rose
1939 - 2012
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SYDNEY (AP) - Murray Rose, a four-time Olympic champion distance swimmer for Australia, died Sunday. He was 73.

Swimming Australia said Murray died of leukemia.

The Scotland-born Rose won three golds at the 1956 Melbourne Games, becoming a national hero at 17. He won a gold, silver and bronze four years later in Rome. His golds in 1956 came in the 400- and 1,500-meter freestyle events and the 4x-200-meter freestyle relay. In Rome, he won the 400 free, took silver in the 1,500 and bronze in the 4x200 free relay.

"I'm just extremely sad at the passing of one of the greatest swimmers of all time and a great mate," said John Konrads, who beat out Rose for the 1,500 gold in Rome.

Rose eventually set 15 world records, including marks in the 400, 800, and 1,500 freestyles.

"Murray Rose is part of the swimming DNA in this country," Swimming Australia president David Urquhart said. "His success inspired a generation and our thoughts and p rayers are with his family and close friends during this difficult time."

Rose represented Australia for the last time at the 1962 Commonwealth Games in Perth, winning all four of his events.

Kieren Perkins, a two-time Olympic 1,500 champion, described Rose's passing as "absolutely devastating", saying he was "a true gentleman" and pioneer for Australian distance swimmers.

"Murray was one of those statesmen of Australian sport and it's almost beyond describing the impact that he had not only on swimming but Australian sport in general," Perkins said. "I was fortunate enough to interact with him before the 1992 Olympics and he gave me valuable advice that helped me achieve what I did at those games."

Born Jan. 6, 1939, in Nairn, Scotland, Iain Murray Rose and his family moved to Australia shortly after World War II. He began swimming as a child.

After the Melbourne Olympics, Rose moved to the United States to attend the University of Southern Cali fornia. He continued competing while at the Los Angeles school, where he studied drama and television and graduated in 1962.

In a joint statement, Prime Minister Julia Gillard and Sports Minister Kate Lundy said Australia had lost one of its greatest Olympians.

"Murray was a true pioneer of Australian swimming and his impressive feats in the pool helped to shape Australia's destiny as a successful sporting nation," the statement said. "There is no disputing that the Olympian was a champion in the pool, but Murray also made an immense contribution to the community through charity work and as patron of The Rainbow Club, which teaches children with a disability to swim."

Rose adhered to a vegan lifestyle during his career, earning the nickname "The Seaweed Streak."

He continued swimming into his later years in masters competitions.

Rose was one of eight people who carried the Olympic flag at the opening ceremony for the 2000 Sydney Games. He appeare d with other Australian Olympic stars on postage stamps to commemorate the games.

He appeared on Groucho Marx's radio program "You Bet Your Life" and was a guest on the TV show "To Tell the Truth" in the 1950s.

Rose appeared in the 1964 movie, "Ride the Wild Surf."

The Australian Olympic Committee said Rose was survived by his wife Jodi and son Trevor.

Funeral arrangements were incomplete.


Copyright © 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
Published in Chicago Sun-Times on Apr. 16, 2012.
Memories & Condolences
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28 entries
November 24, 2018
Only minutes ago we learned of Murray's passing. We've never met, but many years ago I read Murray's father Ian's now famous book, "Faith, Love, and Seaweed" about Murray's diet and training program. I quickly saw the immense value of such a menu and adopted it for my family. Much is owed to the entire Rose family for the research and development of this life-changing document. The legacy left for the benefit of all is inestimable. May the Great Designer be with the family in their time if grief. RIP, Murray.
MARK RAY
Student
April 15, 2015
Thank you for sharing a part of your life with us. God Bless and Godspeed.
Harry Simpson
July 24, 2012
It saddens me to learn of Murray's passing. He was a great person. Always a hero of mine.
sam stein
July 1, 2012
Murray Rose and his family were far ahead of their time. I read "Faith, Love and Seaweed" not long ago. The book was first published more than 40 years ago, and the nutritional information described in it is only now becoming mainstream. The world has lost a great champion, but the legacy Murray and his family brought to sports and nutrition will live a long time.
M Rakower
April 24, 2012
Murray was my boyhood hero together with thousands of Aussie kids. The greatest swimmer of the modern era. Rest in peace Murray from all your friends and fellow members of Bondi Amateur Swimming Club.
Paul Jensen
April 23, 2012
Murray was the most unassuming and modest champion, and such an interesting person. I sometimes felt he did not know why he was so good compared to others. I was in Bondi Swimming Club and in the same Australian team as him at the 1962 Commonwealth Games. He just loved swimming, was always polite, modest, unassuming and kind to others - a thorough gentleman - a gentle man who will be missed. My deep sympathies to his wife Jodi and son Trevor. Barbara Nicol
Barbara Nicol
April 22, 2012
May your Soul enJOY the journey thru Heaven's upon Heaven's upon Heaven's to the very presence + memory of God + Self + Love + LIGHT + return it to Us all every so quickly + eloquently :)
Su Zen FENN
April 20, 2012
Murray's life exemplified his Rose Clan motto of: "Constant and True." He was a man of great character and one of the brightest and most inspiring soul's I have ever met. A true honor to call him "friend". Love and Light to his wife Jodi and son, Trevor. I am with you in spirit.
Steve Hodel
April 19, 2012
My thoughts and prayers are with you in your time of grief. In time your faith, friends and family will help you get through your sorrow
Anita
April 18, 2012
To the family: As you grieve of sadness may the "hearer of prayer" help you to endure this time of sorrow and grant you peace. My deepest condolences. (Psalms 65:2)
April 18, 2012
May the God of all comfort be with you in this time of grief, may all Murray's memories stay close to your heart! Psalms 46:1 Joanna
April 18, 2012
To the family and friends of Murray Rose,

May the God of all comfort strengthen you during this difficult time. Those who die God keeps in his memory because they are precious in his eyes - Psalm 116:15.
Jeanette
April 18, 2012
RIP
April 17, 2012
CONDOLENCES AND LOVE TO JODI AND TREVOR FROM JOHN HAYRES....RIVAL AND COBBER TO MURRAY IN SWIMMING 1953 TO 1956 AND BEYOND
JOHN HAYRES
April 17, 2012
our heartfelt condolences for your loss. May our Heavenly Father, the God of comfort and tender mercies be with you. With deep sympathy,
Hart
April 17, 2012
MY SYMPATHY FOR THE FAMILY AND FRIENDS OF MR. ROSE. MAY THEY HAVE COMFORT FROM THE TRUE GOD OF COMFORT. (2ND COR. 1:13)
April 17, 2012
My condolences to the family. May you draw strength from God during this trial.
April 17, 2012
May the eternal light shine upon him......
James Willner
April 17, 2012
Stay strong God bless this family with open arms
Jesse Chatman
April 17, 2012
I met Murray at Redleaf pool in our early days of training. Then again at the Olympics & the Masters Games. He was a very special person. My deepest sympathy to his family. Yvonne Mackellar
Yvonne Mackellar
April 17, 2012
Australia and all the Olympic family has lost a legend and a gentleman. Though we met only the once, I still feel the warmth of that big handshake and that huge heart. God speed, Murray. Tony Moore (Fijian Olympian in Sydney)
Tony Moore
April 16, 2012
Please accept my condolences and may you find comfort in the words of Philippians 4:6-7.
April 16, 2012
Knew Murray quite well while he was in Los Angeles. A true Gentleman in every sense of the word, a delightful conversationalist and impish sense of humor. Lost my own sister to leukemia. The world is diminished by his passing. What a truly fine man. Deepest and most heartfelt condolences to Jodi and all his mates. Goodbye Murray.
Gregory Fey
April 16, 2012
TO THE FAMILY OF MURRAY ROSE, I EXPRESS MY DEEPEST SYMPATHY AT THIS VERY DIFFICULT AND PAINFUL TIME.PLEASE FIND COMFORT AT ISAIAH 45:18. AW.HOUSTON,TX.
April 16, 2012
With deepest sympathy to the Rose family during your time of grief...Psalm 46:1...God is for us a refuge and strength, a help that is readily to be found during difficult times...May God provide you with peace and comfort to endure the days ahead.
April 16, 2012
I am so sorry for your lost. May you and your family rely on God in this time if grief.
April 16, 2012
My sincere condolence
April 16, 2012
I met Murray through Masters Swimming in the late 1990's yet I looked up to him and John and Kevin from the 60's when I swam. Vale Murray - Ian McCallum.
Ian McCallum
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