Sir Christopher Chataway, record-breaking athlete and Oxford alumnus, passed away last Sunday at the age of 82. Chataway, who had been suffering from cancer for two and a half years, was best known for his success as a track star. In 1954 he broke the world record for the 5,000 meter distance and won the Commonwealth Games three miles title. That same year Chattaway was credited with helping pace Sir Roger Bannister to break the four-minute mile barrier. These accomplishments lead him to be named the first-ever BBC Sports Personality of the Year.
Born in Chelsea in 1931, Chataway came to Oxford to study philosophy, politics and economics at Magdalen College. While at Oxford Chataway served as the President of the University Athletics Club and was good friends with Sir Roger Barrister, for whom the Iffley track is now named after.
During his athletic career Chataway also worked in broadcasting, beginning as the first newsreader on Independent Television and later with the BBC. He then entered politics, representing Lewisham North as a Conservative MP between 1959 and 1964 and again from 1969 to 1974. Chattaway held several ministerial positions, including Parliamentary Private Secretary and junior Education Minister. As an MP he used his maiden speech to urge the England cricket team to refuse to play in apartheid South Africa and championed issues relating to refugees.
In 1974, Chataway retired from politics to concentrate on his business career, becoming managing director of Orion Bank, before leaving in 1988 to work as chairman of the Civil Aviation Authority. He was knighted for his services to the aviation industry in 1995.
Chattaway is survived by five sons, Mark, Matthew, Adam, Charles, and Ben, one daughter, Joanna, and his wife Carola.