Abel Kiviat (1892-1991) was one of track and field's legendary personalities, a world record-holder and Olympic medalist in the metric mile. A teenage prodigy, he defeated Hall of Fame runners in Madison Square Garden before his twentieth birthday. Alan S. Katchen brings Kiviat's fascinating story to life and re-creates a lost world, when track and field was at the height of its popularity and occupying a central place in America's sporting world. The seventh and oldest child of Moishe and Zelda Kiviat, Jewish immigrants from Poland, Abel competed as 'the Hebrew runner' for New York's famed Irish-American Athletic Club and was elected its captain. Katchen offers a detailed account of the I-AAC's evolution, including its close ties to the Tammany Hall political machine, and sheds light on the rapid modernization of the sport and the ways it provided a vehicle for the assimilation of working-class, immigrant athletes. Overcoming bigotry and prejudice from several of the sport's leaders, Kiviat served for fifty years as the Amateur Athletic Union's press steward during the emergence of broadcast media. He died at ninety-nine, just months short of carrying the torch for the opening ceremonies of the Barcelona Olympics. Abel Kiviat, National Champion pays tribute to a remarkable athlete and the sport during its most dynamic and celebrated era.