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James “Jesse” Owens: (1913-1980) African American Olympian

Jesse Owens was born on September 12, 1913 in Oakville, Alabama.  In 1922, Owens moved to Cleveland and attended Fairmont Junior High School, where he started his track career.  At seventeen he attended East Technical School, where he broke records in the 100-yard dash and 200-yard dash, and was accepted to Ohio State University.

In 1936, Owens won four gold medals in the 100-meter, 200-meter, long jump, and 400-meter relay during the Olympic games in Berlin

In 1976, Owens was awarded the Medal of Freedom; he died of lung cancer in Tucson, Arizona on March 31, 1980.


Further Reading:

The Encyclopedia of Cleveland History, Jesse Owens

Jesse Owens Foundation, Who is Jesse Owens

CMG Worldwide and The Estate of Jesse Owens, Jesse Owens: The Official Website

U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, Nazi Olympics, Berlin 1936