Billy Mills Net Worth

Billy Mills, an Oglala Lakota (Sioux) from Pine Ridge, South Dakota was orphaned at twelve. To cope with his difficult life on the reservation he turned to running and broke several high school and college records while also serving in the Marine Corps.

Early Life and Education

Bill Mills was raised on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, one of the poorest regions in the US. After losing both parents, at 8 his mother died and 4 years later his father passed away, leaving him an orphan. This event fed his dreams and led him to Haskell Institute boarding school for Native Americans located in Lawrence Kansas – there he developed his running abilities further while earning himself a scholarship at University of Kansas.

After winning Olympic gold, Mills was inspired to embrace his Lakota culture and values by founding the non-profit Running Strong for American Indian Youth. Additionally, he became a national spokesperson for Christian Relief Services helping raise over $300 Million while being presented the Presidential Citizens Medal by President Barack Obama.

Professional Career

Mills persevered despite growing up poor and grievously losing both parents in early life, going on to win one of the greatest upsets in Olympic history: the 1964 10,000m race victory was no small feat!

He went on to compete at the University of Kansas on an athletic scholarship, earning three NCAA All-American awards in cross country running and taking part in two outdoor track championship teams for 1959 and 1960 – the Jayhawks!

Billy continues to inspire audiences through his dynamic keynote presentations and his dedication to excellence philosophy. Additionally, he serves as national spokesperson for Native American issues and created Running Strong for American Indian Youth.

Achievement and Honors

Billy Mills of America became the sole winner in the 10,000-meter run at the 1964 Summer Olympic Games. An orphan raised on Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota, Mills found solace and self-esteem through running. Earning a cross-country scholarship at University of Kansas allowed him to fully embrace running; eventually earning three NCAA All-American awards as an amateur.

Back on the reservation, he earned his Lakota name of Makata Taka Hela – which means “Loves His Country”. Before what would become an unexpected race that didn’t need to occur, community members filled a sacred pipe with tobacco in prayer that Mills would represent them well.

After his success in Tokyo, Mills decided to use his success for good and establish the non-profit Running Strong for American Indian Youth, raising millions in donations while building youth centers, drilling hundreds of water wells, and initiating Native language preservation programs.

Personal Life

Billy and Pat have been together for nearly six decades and together they have four daughters, 12 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

Running Brave was made famous through his life story as an Oglala Lakota from Pine Ridge Reservation, one of America’s poorest communities. Orphaned at 12, Mills found comfort and fulfillment through track and field, earning a scholarship to University of Kansas; later serving in United States Marine Corps.

Mills soon made his Olympic success the focus of his life’s work – to empower American Indians. He founded Running Strong for American Indian Youth to assist communities with self-sufficiency programs and cultural identity projects. Mills also acts as a motivational speaker, writing two books focusing on life lessons from Lakota culture: Lessons of a Lakota and Wokini.

Net Worth

Billy Mills has amassed an immense fortune through investments on the stock market as he and his family continue to expand Florence by Mills beauty brand. His story stands as one of America’s great motivational stories.

Billy was orphaned at age 12, after both of his parents died, and struggled to overcome generational poverty on Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota through running. Ultimately he earned a scholarship to University of Kansas where he excelled at cross-country running and went on to become a three-time All-American.

Today, at 81 years old, John lives with his wife Pat in Sacramento. He still runs and is actively engaged in Native American causes as the National Spokesman of Running Strong for American Indian Youth; helping communities develop self-sufficiency programs and youth activities. Furthermore, Christian Relief Services have recognized him with their Presidential Citizens Medal award.

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