|Bill Cleary was the leading scorer on the gold medal-winning United States Olympic hockey team at Squaw Valley, California in 1960. He had 14 points on seven goals and seven assists and scored the first goal in a key 3-2 win over the Soviet Union in the second-last game of the tournament that all but clinched the surprising gold medal victory. Cleary had previously played on the silver medal-winning Olympic Team in 1956 and also represented the United States at the 1959 World Championships when he was named the Best Forward at the tournament. His brother Bob also played on both the 1959 and 1960 U.S. teams.
Cleary was a native of Cambridge, Massachusetts who gained hockey stardom during a standout career at Harvard University. His greatest season was 1954-55 when he set an NCAA single-season scoring record with 89 points and a Harvard record with 42 goals. Cleary led Harvard to an Ivy League title and a third-place finish at the NCAA hockey tournament that year.