Melvin Pender, Jr.


Melvin Pender, Jr.

Captain Melvin Pender was commissioned as an Infantry Officer upon graduation of Officer Candidate School, 21 June 1966. Upon completion of Officer Candidate School, Captain Pender served two tours in Vietnam with the 9th Division 1966-1967 and again in 1969-1970 with the 82nd Airborne and also in the CIA under Ambassador Colby. Upon completion of his tours to Vietnam he received the Bronze Star and numerous other medals. Prior to his second tour he assumed command of a company in the 82nd Airborne Division, Fort Bragg, North Carolina. | In 1964, at the age of 27, Pender competed in the 1964 Olympics in Tokyo as a sprinter. Captain Pender was pulled out of combat in Vietnam in 1967 in order to compete in the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City. He earned a Gold Medal in the 4x100 meter relay. He still holds World Records in the 50, 60 and 70-yard dash, and once held the record in the 100-meter dash. | Following retirement, Dr. Pender had successful careers in sports administration and management including: Director of community affairs and President of the Atlanta Hawks Foundation, Regional Director for the National Association of Home Builders, and Board of Directors of the United States Sports Academy. | At time of his induction into the Hall of Fame, Dr. Pender was in process of completing his autobiography entitled “Expression of Hope: The Mel Pender Story."

Additional Information

Graduated From
Fort Benning, Georgia
Highest Award
Year Inducted
Branch Of Service

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