Rose claimed the 400 metres and 1500 metres freestyle double at the 1956 Melbourne Olympics aged 17, becoming the first person to win both of those events at a Games since Norman Ross in 1920.
After the Games, Rose moved to Los Angeles and attended the University of Southern California. He then returned to Australia to train for the 1960 Rome Olympics, where he successfully defended his 400m title and took silver in the 1500m.
He ended his career with four Olympic gold medals, a silver and a bronze.
Born in Scotland in 1939, Rose moved to Australia with his family as a young boy and learned to swim in Double Bay, a fashionable Sydney resort with a shark-netted beach and an inspiring view of Sydney harbour. During his career, he followed a vegan lifestyle, which earned him the nickname ‘The Seaweed Streak’.
David Urquhart, president of Swimming Australia, yesterday said his death was a great loss.
“The name Murray Rose is synonymous with success in the sport of swimming, and his achievements in Melbourne in 1956 will go down as the stuff of legend,” Urquhart said.
“Murray Rose is part of the swimming DNA in this country.
“His success inspired a generation and our thoughts and prayers are with his family and close friends during this difficult time.”