Robert J. Kane was an elite sprinter. He held the Cornell University record for the 200-meter dash for 40 years and ran on relay teams that won races at the Penn Relays and the AAU national championships.
But Kane’s biggest impact on athletics came as an administrator, locally at Cornell University for 36 years and nationally and internationally with his work for the U.S. Olympic Committee. Kane was elected to the USOC Board of Directors in 1951 and eventually served as USOC President from 1977 to 1981.
It was during Kane’s tenure as USOC President that he created the National Sports Festival, subsequently named the U.S. Olympic Festival.
Kane died in 1992. He was 81.