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The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders both past and present.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are warned that this website contains images of deceased persons.

Murray Rose

1956
an unknown artist

gelatin silver photograph on paper (sheet: 21.3 cm x 15.7 cm, image: 21.0 cm x 15.5 cm)

Murray Rose AM (1939-2012), swimmer, was voted by his peers in 1983 as Australia's greatest male Olympian. Rose came to Australia from England before his first birthday. Coached by Sam Herford, he was a promising swimmer even at the age of seven. In the late 1950s he was untouchable over 400 and 1 500 metres, setting a total of 15 world records. Rose won the 400m and 1500m and was a member of the 4 x 200m winning relay team at the 1956 Melbourne Olympics. In 1960, he won a gold, a silver and a bronze. He won four gold medals at the 1962 Commonwealth Games, and would have competed at the 1964 Tokyo Olympics but for a decision by the Australian Swimming Union to exclude any swimmer from the Olympic trials who had not swum in the Australian championships held earlier in the year. He broke the world record in the 880 yards that year. His unusual diet, which was vegetarian and included seaweed, earned him the nickname 'the Seaweed Streak'. After his retirement from swimming Rose lived in the USA where he completed his university education and pursued a career in marketing, notably with the Los Angeles Lakers from 1987 to 1994. In the last years of his life, he lived in Sydney and worked in sports marketing and management.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Purchased 2011

The National Portrait Gallery respects the artistic and intellectual property rights of others. Works of art from the collection are reproduced as per the Australian Copyright Act 1968 (Cth). The use of images of works from the collection may be restricted under the Act. Requests for a reproduction of a work of art can be made through a Reproduction request. For further information please contact NPG Copyright.

Artist and subject

Murray Rose AM (age 17 in 1956)

Subject professions

Sports and recreation

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The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders past and present. We respectfully advise that this site includes works by, images of, names of, voices of and references to deceased people.

This website comprises and contains copyrighted materials and works. Copyright in all materials and/or works comprising or contained within this website remains with the National Portrait Gallery and other copyright owners as specified.

The National Portrait Gallery respects the artistic and intellectual property rights of others. The use of images of works of art reproduced on this website and all other content may be restricted under the Australian Copyright Act 1968 (Cth). Requests for a reproduction of a work of art or other content can be made through a Reproduction request. For further information please contact NPG Copyright.

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