Marshall Walter "Major" Taylor was an American track cyclist who began his amateur career while he was still a teenager in Indianapolis, Indiana. He became a professional racer in 1896, at the age of 18, and won the sprint event at the 1899 world track championships in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, to become the first African American to achieve the level of world champion and the second black athlete to win a world championship in any sport. Taylor also set numerous world records in the sprint discipline in race distances ranging from the quarter-mile (0.4 km) to the two-mile (3.2 km). Taylor was an American sprint champion in 1899 and 1900, and completed races in the U.S., Europe and Australasia. He retired in 1910, at the age of 32, to his home in Worcester, Massachusetts.