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Tom Longboat
Tom Longboat was born on June 4, 1887 on a Six Nations Reserve (Caledonia) located south of Brantford, Ontario. He was an Onondaga, one of the six tribes of the Iroquois Confederacy. Longboat lived on a small farm with his mother, father and siblings. His father died when Longboat was just five years old. He ran a lot as a boy, and by the time he was 20, he had won the 1907 Boston Marathon. Longboat set a new course record of 2:24:24 and became an international celebrity. In 1909, he won the World Professional Marathon Championships at Madison Square Gardens in New York City. In 1916 Longboat enlisted for the War. He joined the 107th Pioneer Battalion and was stationed in France. He used his athletic ability to run messages from one military post to another - a highly dangerous job. During his service he was wounded twice, and even reported dead. Longboat survived the war and returned to Canada in 1919. For the rest of his life, he struggled with employment and diabetes, and eventually died of pneumonia. He was 61 years old. Tom Longboat is a member of both the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame, and the Indian Sports Hall of Fame.

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