Jesse Owens was a legendary Olympian. He was also the son and a grandson of a slave. He was born in Alabama on September 12, 1913. On May 25, 1935, he broke three world records (the long jump, 220 yard dash, and 220 yard low hurdles) and tied a fourth in (110 yard dash) in a 45 minute span!
He shocked everyone including the judges when he won four gold medals at the 1936 Olympics. After he won, Hitler refused to shake Jesse’s hand. Sadly, Jesse Owens died from lung cancer on March 31, 1980, in Tucson, Arizona. He was awarded the congressional gold medal by George H.W. Bush 10 years after his death.
Jesse’s spirit lives on in his three daughters, Gloria, Marlene, and Beverly.
Quadir Medley is a sixth grader at Central Middle School.