Jesse Owens

Jesse Owens (1913-1980) had different jobs in his youth: delivering groceries, loading freight cars, and working in a shoe repair shop. It was at this time that he realized his dream was to run. He was first in the national spotlight when only a high-school student he tied the world record of 9.4 seconds in the 100 yard dash and long-jumped 24 feet 9 ½ inches. Owens attended Ohio State University and won a record eight individual NCAA championships, but he had to live off campus with the other African-American athletes. Within 45 minutes in 1935 in Michigan, he set three world records and equaled a fourth. He won four golds in the 1936 Berlin Olympics, which were attended by Adolf Hitler. Legend has it that Hitler refused to shake Owen’s hand, but a British fighter pilot says he actually witnessed a handshake. Owens said “Hitler didn’t snub me–it was our president who snubbed me. The president didn’t even send me a telegram.”


Photo Credit: Google Images

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