Andrew "Andy" Payne
1991 - Cross Country/Football - Cherokee

DATE OF BIRTH: November 17, 1907
DATE OF DEATH: December 3, 1977
  • BIRTH PLACE: Foyil , Oklahoma
  • TRIBE: Cherokee
  • EDUCATION: Oklahoma City University
  • SPORTS DATA: Track/Cross Country

  • Track Star 1927
  • 1928 - At 3:46 pm, March 4, 1928, began "The great Cross-Country marathon Race" from Los Angeles, California, to New York City, New York. Two hundred seventy-five runners began the race. Seventy runners made it to Chicago. Fifty-five struggled to reach the tape in Madison Square Garden, New York City, Saturday night May 26, 1928, ending the blistering race from ocean to ocean, sometimes called by the press "The Bunion Derby." The promoters said winning the marathon race would be "the most stupendous athletic accomplishment in all history." The race covered 3,422.3 miles, and "Andy" Payne was clocked at 573 hours, 4 minutes, and 34 seconds.
  • First to cross the finish line, "Andy" Payne was awarded 1st prize of $25,000 and received national and international acclaim.
COMMENTS: From "The Great American Foot Race - The Documentary"
  • "Andy Payne, an Oklahoma Cherokee, was twenty years old when he decided to enter the 1928 Trans-Continental Foot Race. When asked why Andy said "I just thought I could do it". Andy would finish in first place after the 84 day ordeal."
  • "THE GREAT AMERICAN FOOT RACE" documents an extraordinary 3,422-mile cross-country trek, won by 19-year-old Cherokee Indian Andy Payne, the shy son of an Oklahoma farmer who entered the race because "I just thought I could do it." Dubbed "the Bunion Derby" by sports writers of the day, this was a grueling competition in which 199 runners attempted to cross the United States. Facing scorching temperatures, intermittent supplies of food and water, competing without modern running shoes or equipment, only 55 men finished the 84-day race from Los Angeles to New York. The film not only describes Payne's incredible achievement, but tells the story of a race that was filled with drama, hucksterism, and even, unfortunately, the early beginnings of corporate sponsorship of athletic events."
QUOTE: "The History of Rogers County, Oklahoma"
  • "In 1934, Andy was a successful candidate for Clerk of the Oklahoma Supreme Court. Always one to advocate self-improvement, Andy went to night school and earned his law degree from Oklahoma City University in 1953. The governor, legislators, other state officials, and thousands of friends honored this outstanding public servant on November 28, 1972, with a gigantic public reception at the State Capitol on what was officially proclaimed "Andy Payne Day."