Forrest Gump had nothing on Johnson, who played basketball for John Wooden, won Olympic gold in the decathlon and was drafted as a running back by the Rams. As an actor, Johnson was forced to turn down a role in Spartacus to preserve his amateur status, but he later appeared in a James Bond movie. In 1968, in the kitchen of the Ambassador Hotel, Johnson helped wrestle the gun out of Sirhan Sirhans hand after Robert Kennedy was shot. Johnson was hugely involved in Special Olympics and, to christen the opening of the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics, scaled the final steps as the final torch bearer.
Los Angeles Times
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