Bannister, the first runner to break the 4-minute barrier in the mile, died peacefully in Oxford on Saturday at the age of 88.
On May 6, 1954, Bannister became the first man to break the four-minute mile when he ran it in 3:59.4 seconds at a sports ground in Oxford.
Bannister also won a European Championship gold medal that year but brought an end to his athletics career before the end of 1954 and went on to become a leading neurologist.
Bannister, who went on to pursue a long and distinguished medical career, had been slowed by Parkinson's disease in recent years. "Sir Roger Bannister showed that barriers are there to be broken and there are no limits".
Indeed, in a tweet from British Prime Minister Theresa May, Bannister was recognized as an "icon" whose accomplishments served to inspire generations.
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Four-time Olympic gold medal victor Sir Mo Farah tweeted: "I'm so sorry to hear the sad news about Roger Bannister".
He attended schools in London and Bath, proving himself a skilled student and runner and earning a scholarship to Oxford University, where he studied medicine while continuing to shine in mile and 1,500-meter track competitions.
"He was an inspiration to those like me who sought to combine university with worldwide sport".
Seb Coe, president of the International Association of Athletics Federations, said Bannister's death marked "a day of intense sadness both for our nation and for all of us in athletics".
At the 1952 Summer Olympics, he finished fourth in the 1500-meter mile, setting a British record. "The first person you're taught to look up to is Roger Bannister".
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"We met when I was the youngest member of the first ever UK Sports Council set up in 1964 and he could not have been more welcoming or helpful".
Australian Landy led for most of the race but Bannister passed him on the final bend and won the race by almost a second, both men going under four minutes and Bannister running a career-best 3:58.8.
In 2015, the two-mile record was smashed by Mo Farah, who ran the distance in eight minutes 3.4 seconds, and this was his first world record.
TeamGB: "We are incredibly saddened by the death of Sir Roger Bannister, aged 88". Bannister was knighted in 1975, and served as the Master of Pembroke College at Oxford University from 1985 until 1993. With his wife, Moyra Jacobsson, a portrait painter and daughter of a Swedish economist, he had four children.
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