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 Jesse Owens

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Jesse Owens

Olympic Games Gold Medalist Athelete, Civil Rights Reformer. He first came to national prominence in 1933 when, as a senior at Cleveland East Technical High School, he tied the world record for the 100-yard dash. Attending Ohio State on a track scholarship, Owens had perhaps the greatest day in sports history on May 25, 1935, setting world records in the 220-yard dash, the 220-yard low hurdles, and the broad jump while again tying the world record in the 100-yard dash at the Big 10 track and field championships. He is perhaps best remembered for his success at the 1936 Berlin Olympics where he won gold medals in the 100-meter dash, 200-meter dash, 400-meter relay, and long jump. Perhaps not coincidentally, German Chancellor Adolph Hitler was not present in Olympic Stadium for these events. Unfortunately, Owens was subsequently banned from amateur competition by US Olympic Committe Chairman Avery Brundage for leading a barnstorming tour across Europe. Owens would run professionally in exhibitions for several years afterward, eventually achieving a modicum of off-track success as a speaker, public relations man, and disk jockey. He was awarded the Medal of Freedom by President Gerald Ford in 1976, and was posthumously given a Congressional Gold Medal in 1990.

Bio by: Stuthehistoryguy


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Added: 31 Dec 2000
  • Find A Grave Memorial 2188
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Jesse Owens (12 Sep 1913–31 Mar 1980), Find A Grave Memorial no. 2188, citing Oak Woods Cemetery, Chicago, Cook County, Illinois, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .