Daniel Sexton Gurney, Shown here in the very foreground running toward his #3 Ford GT40 at the start of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, was born April 13, 1931, in Port Jefferson, Long Island, to John Gurney, a Metropolitan Opera star, and his wife, Roma Sexton.
From early on Dan liked music of a different kind. The sound of 12-cylinder racing engines were much sweeter to his ears than any aria. As the grandson of F.W. Gurney, manufacturing magnate and inventor of the Gurney ball bearing, it made perfect sense.
Following Dan’s graduation from Manhasset High school in Long Island, his family moved to Riverside, California, where Dan developed his driving skills by weaving through Southern California orange groves. He graduated from Menlo Junior college and served two years with the United States Army, most of that time overseas in the Korean War.