He shocked two-time defending champion Kenenisa Bekele of Ethiopia and won the third gold medal of the track and field program for Great Britain. The host country wound up with six victories in Olympic competition Saturday.
Britain already had two rowing wins and a world record victory in the women's team pursuit cycling race before the evening's track and field program got underway.
Then in quick succession gold medals came from Jessica Ennis in the heptathlon, Greg Rutherford in the long jump and Farah in the 10,000.
Just as shocking as Farah's win was the second-place finisher -- American Galen Rupp. He sprinted down the home stretch behind Farah and past two Ethiopians to give the United States its first medal in the event in 48 years. Billy Mills put on a similar sprint in 1964 to win the race for the United States in Tokyo.
After all that drama, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce of Jamaica won the women's 100-meter dash for the second straight Olympics. In Beijing, she led a Jamaican sweep of the medals. This time the Jamaicans claimed only the gold and bronze with American Carmelita Jeter grabbing the silver.
Ethiopian runners had won four consecutive 10,000-meter runs at the Olympics and the one of the Bekele brothers hoped to make it five.
Farah, however, put on his kick with a lap to go and his speed broke the runners from Ethiopia. Rupp was in fourth place coming around the final turn and he then surged past both Tariku and Kenenisa Bekele to grab the silver.
Tariku was the only one of the brothers to earn a medal, picking up the bronze.
Farah was the first British runner to win the race and Rutherford became the first from Britain to win the long jump in 48 years. He outdistanced Australia's Mitchell Watt and American Will Claye.
Ennis dominated the heptathlon with 6,955 points, third highest in Olympics history. She won by 327 points over Tatyana Chernova of Russia.