William Christopher Prout
William Christopher Prout
Hometown: Boston, MA
Team: Track & Field

William Christopher Prout '09
Hometown:
Boston, MA
Sport:
Track & Field
Year Inducted:
1981

William Christopher Prout ’09 became a champion quarter-miler and the foremost anchor man on any United States relay team of his day. The Boston native attended English High before entering Brown. He was a member of the undefeated relay team of 1907, running with such stars as Capt. Harry H. Thurlow ’07, John R. Honnis ’08, and John W. Mayhew ’09. After two years at Brown, Bill Prout transferred to Boston University to take up law. He was captain of the United States track team and a member of the 400-meter relay unit at the 1908 London Olympics. Three years later, Bill Prout became National Junior AAU 400-yard champion when he ran the event in 50.8 seconds to equal the AAU record. He was an Army captain during World War I, directing the physical education program at Camp Dodge. Although Prout was an outstanding runner, he is perhaps best known as an able administrator in the affairs of the National AAU and the American Olympic Committee. He served as president of the AAU from 1921 to 1924 and again in 1926. Bill Prout was president of the American Olympic Committee when he died of a heart attack in Boston on Aug. 4, 1927, at age 40. A leading figure in the Knights of Columbus, he was a member of the Supreme Board of Directors of the National Order at the time of his death. While abroad for the 1924 Olympiad, Prout was honored by Pope Pius XI with the decoration of Knight Commander of the Order of St George the Great. Prout founded the Casey Indoor Track Meet in Boston, which later was called the Prout Games, and still later became the Knights of Columbus Games featuring the Prout Mile. George Carens, veteran Boston newspaperman, once said of Prout, “He was a meteoric figure of the Roaring Twenties, the Golden Era of sports, attaining heights as sports executive never reached by an American before his 40th birthday.”