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Jim Rathmann Obituary

Jim Rathmann (AP Photo)
MELBOURNE, Fla. (AP) Jim Rathmann, the 1960 Indianapolis 500 winner in a historic back-and-forth duel with Rodger Ward, died Wednesday. He was 83.

Son Jimmy Rathmann said in an e-mail message to Indianapolis Motor Speedway officials that his father died at a hospice facility in Melbourne, nine days after having a seizure at his home.

Rathmann, second in the Indy 500 in 1952, '57 and '59, was inducted into the Auto Racing Hall of Fame in 1993 and the Motorsports Hall of Fame in 2007. He also won the 500-mile Race of Two Worlds in 1958 in Monza, Italy.

From 1949 to 1963, Rathmann made 42 IndyCar starts, drove in three NASCAR races and started twice in the Race of Two Worlds, winning seven times.

Born Royal Richard Rathmann, he borrowed the name Jim from his older brother to race underage in the mid-1940s. The name stuck, and his brother later raced as Dick Rathmann.

Rathmann is survived by wife Kay, two sons, two stepsons, five grandchildren and one great-grandchild.



Copyright 2011 The Associated Press
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