DALLAS — Orville Rogers, the retired Dallas-area pilot who late in life became a record-setting and world-renowned athlete, passed away in hospice care Thursday morning.
Members of Rogers' family confirmed the news to WFAA, where we have profiled his amazing exploits several times.
Picking up running as a hobby well after his 50th birthday, the World War II and Korean War veteran who then spent a career as a commercial airline pilot for Braniff Airways decided to enter running competitions when he reached his 90s.
He held more than 18 records for his age group, some of them aired nationally on ESPN, and was planning to pursue even more. Recently he'd undergone heart valve replacement surgery, hoping that he would be able to compete in a future 800-meter competition.
But Rogers' health quickly declined and his family told us that as recently as last week he was moved to hospice care.
“I did not seek fame, I did not seek long life, I did not seek riches," Rogers told us in an interview last year. "But God has blessed me with all three and I’m trying to live up to it.”
Rogers would have celebrated his 102nd birthday later this month.
A Celebration of Life ceremony will be held on Monday, Nov. 25 at Historic Sanctuary First Baptist Church in Dallas. The ceremony is scheduled to begin at 11 a.m.