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Jesse Owens
Jesse Owens Jesse Owens


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James Cleveland Owens was born in Oakville, Alabama, on Sept 12, 1913, the son of a sharecropper He was a sickly child, often too frail to help his father and brothers in the fields The family moved to Cleveland, Ohio, in 1921 There was little improvement in their life, but the move did enable young Owens to enter public school, where a teacher accidently wrote down his name as "Jesse" instead of JC The name stuck for the rest of his life When Jesse was in the fifth grade, the athletic supervisor asked him to go out for track From a spindly boy he developed into a strong runner In junior high school he set a record for the 100-yard dash.

In high school in 1933 he won the 100-yard dash, the 200-yard dash, and the broad jump in the National Interscholastic Championships Owens was such a complete athlete, a coach said he seemed to float over the ground when he ran A number of universities actively recruited Owens, but he felt college was a dream He felt he could not leave his struggling family and young wife when a paycheck needed to be earned Owens finally agreed to enter Ohio State University in Columbus after officials found employment for his father In addition to his studies and participating in track, Owens worked three jobs to pay his tuition He experienced racism while a student at Ohio State, but the incidents merely strengthened his resolve to succeed At the "Big Ten" track and field championships (at the University of Michigan) in 1935, he broke three world records and tied another His 26 foot 8 1/4 inch broad jump set a record that was not broken for 25 years Owens was a member of the 1936 U.

S Olympic team competing in Berlin The African-American members of the squad faced the challenges not only of competition but also of Hitler's boasts of Aryan supremacy Owens won a total of four gold medals at the Olympic games As a stunned Hitler angrily left the stadium, German athletes embraced Owens and the spectators chanted his name He returned to America to a hero's welcome, honored at a ticker tape parade in New York However, within months, he was unable to find work to finance his senior year of college Owens took work as a playground supervisor, but was soon approached by promoters who wanted to pit him against race horses and cars With the money from these exhibitions, he was able to finish school In 1937 Owens lent his name to a chain of cleaning shops.

They prospered until 1939, when the partners fled, leaving Owens a bankrupt business and heavy debts He found employment with the Office of Civilian Defense in Philadelphia (1940-1942) as national director of physical education for African-Americans From 1942 to 1946 he was director of minority employment at Ford Motor Company in Detroit He later became a sales executive for a Chicago sporting goods company In 1951 Owens accompanied the Harlem Globetrotters basketball team to Berlin at the invitation of the US High Commission and the Army He was appointed secretary of the Illinois Athletic Commission (1952-1955), and was sent on a global goodwill tour as ambassador of sport for the United States Also in 1955, he was appointed to the Illinois Youth Commission In 1956 he organized the Junior Olympic Games for youngsters in Chicago between the ages of 12 and 17.

Owens and his friend Joe Louis were active in helping black youth Owens headed his own public relations firm in Chicago and for several years had a jazz program on Chicago radio He traveled throughout America and abroad, lecturing youth groups Ideologically moderate, Owens admired Martin Luther King, Jr Owens and his childhood sweetheart whom he had married in 1931, had three daughters Forty years after he won his gold medals, Owens was finally invited to the White House to accept a Medal of Freedom from President Gerald Ford The following year, the Jesse Owens International Trophy for amateur athletes was established In 1979, President Jimmy Carter honored Owens with a Living Legend Award In the 1970s Owens moved his business from Chicago to Phoenix, but as time progressed, his health deteriorated He died of cancer on March 31, 1980, after a lengthy stay in a Phoenix hospital.

He was buried in Chicago several days later The highest honor Owens received came a full ten years after his death Congressman Louis Stokes from Cleveland lobbied tirelessly to earn Owens a Congressional Gold Medal The award was finally given to Owens's widow by President Bush in 1990 During the ceremony, President Bush called Owens "an Olympic hero and an American hero every day of his life" Owens's fabled career as a runner again caught public attention in the 1996 Olympic Games, and 60th anniversary of his Berlin triumph, as entrepreneurs hawked everything from Jesse Owens gambling chips (Sports Illustrated August 5, 1996) to commemorative oak tree seedlings (American Forests Spring, 1996) reminiscent of one he was awarded as a Gold Medalist in Berlin (Sports Illustrated February 20, 1995) Racism at home had denied Owens the financial fruits of his victory after the 1936 games, but his triumph in what has been called "the most important sports story of the century," continued to be an inspiration for modern day Olympians such as track stars Michael Johnson and Carl Lewis In Jet magazine (August 1996), Johnson credited Owens for paving the way for his and other black athletes' victories .



 
Jesse Owens, Hitler reaction
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1936, 100m, Men, Olympic Games, Berlin
1936, 100m, Men, Olympic Games, Berlin Jesse Owens in a series of 100m races at the Berlin Olympics culminating in his gold medal race. Date: 2 August 1936 ...
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Jesse Owens - 1936 Olympics
Jesse Owens of the United States wins 4 gold medals in the 1936 Berlin Olympics. He wins gold in the 100m, 200m, 4x100m relay, and the long jump.
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Jesse Owens vs. Usain Bolt
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Jesse Owens: Enduring Spirit
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Jesse Owens Wins 100m Olympic Gold in front of Hitler at 1936 Olympics
Jesse Owens Wins 100m Olympic Gold in front of Hitler at 1936 Olympics. Jesse Owens was an American track and field athlete who won international fame by ...
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Jesse Owens snubbed by FDR NOT Hitler
Jesse Owens myth debunked ''Wonderful German crowd. The people here in Germany have been very nice to me. Hitler never snubbed me but Franklin ...
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The Jesse Owens Story (1984)
The Jesse Owens Story (original release July 9, 1984) which was written by Harold Gast is a US-American bibliographical drama about "perhaps the greatest ...
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Andre De Grasse vs. 1936 Olympic Champ Jesse Owens | The Nature of Things | CBC
Canadian sprinting sensation Andre De Grasse runs a hundred metres in Jesse's shoes. Who's the better runner when conditions are the same?
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The Story of Jesse Owens (NBC 1984 Movie) Pt. 1
The Jesse Owens Story is a 1984 American biographical film about the black athlete Jesse Owens. Dorian Harewood plays the Olympic gold-winning athlete.
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Jesse Owens Returns to Berlin Olympics 1936
Narrated by Jesse Owens, one of the best sports documentaries ever, VHS transfer from an old television broadcast.
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Jesse Owens - Triumph
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Jesse Owens | La noche temática
Jesse Owens consiguió cuatro medallas de oro en los Juegos Olímpicos de Berlín de 1936. Hitler se negó a estrecharle la mano al atleta afroamericano. Owens ...
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Jesse Owens Daughters Say Race Is Like a Movie Made in Heaven
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1936: Hero of the Olympic Games: Jesse Owens
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Jesse Owens racing a horse.
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