Irish-American Martin Sheridan was the world's finest all-round athlete until the arrival of Jim Thorpe, and the greatest discus thrower until Al Oerter.
5 gold, 3 silver, one bronze
In addition to winning the discus at the 1904 and 1908 Olympic Games, Sheridan won the Greek-style discus as well as two bronze medals in the standing long jump in 1908. To these four Olympic medals he added two gold medals in discus and shot put, as well as three silver medals in the stone throw and the standing at the intercalated Games in 1906.
15 “World Bests”
Between 1904 and 1911, he won 11 AAU titles at a variety of events including three in the All-Around Championship, in which he broke the world record all three times. He was at his best before world records were officially recognized but from 1902 to 1911 he set no less than 15 new "World Bests" in the discus. Irish-born, he emigrated to the USA at the age of 16 and he eventually died from pneumonia on the eve of his 37th birthday while serving with the New York Police Department.