48 Facts About Jesse Owens


James Cleveland "Jesse" Owens was an American track and field athlete who won four gold medals at the 1936 Olympic Games.


Jesse Owens was the most successful athlete at the Games and, as a black American man, was credited with "single-handedly crushing Hitler's myth of Aryan supremacy".


The Jesse Owens Award is USA Track and Field's highest accolade for the year's best track and field athlete.


Jesse Owens was ranked by ESPN as the sixth greatest North American athlete of the 20th century and the highest-ranked in his sport.


Since Jesse Owens worked after school, Riley allowed him to practice before school instead.


Jesse Owens first came to national attention when he was a student of East Technical High School in Cleveland; he equaled the world record of 9.4 seconds in the 100 yards dash and long-jumped.


Jesse Owens attended the Ohio State University after his father found employment, which ensured that the family could be supported.


Affectionately known as the "Buckeye Bullet" and under the coaching of Larry Snyder, Jesse Owens won a record eight individual NCAA championships, four each in 1935 and 1936.


When he traveled with the team, Jesse Owens was restricted to ordering carry-out or eating at "blacks-only" restaurants.


Jesse Owens did not receive a scholarship for his efforts, so he continued to work part-time jobs to pay for school.


May 25,1935, is remembered as the day when Jesse Owens established four world records in athletics.


On that day, Jesse Owens achieved track and field immortality in a span of 45 minutes during the Big Ten meet at Ferry Field in Ann Arbor, Michigan, where he set three world records and tied a fourth.


Jesse Owens equaled the world record for the 100-yard dash, and set world records in the long jump ; 220 yards sprint ; and 220-yard low hurdles.


Jesse Owens was convinced by the NAACP to declare: "If there are minorities in Germany who are being discriminated against, the United States should withdraw from the 1936 Olympics".


Jesse Owens initially credited this achievement to the technical advice that he received from Luz Long, the German competitor whom he defeated, but later admitted that this was not true, as he and Long did not meet until after the competition was over.


Coincidentally, Jesse Owens was a spectator at the 1960 Summer Olympics in Rome when Boston took the gold medal in the long jump.


Hitler was accused of failing to acknowledge Jesse Owens or shake his hand.


In 2014, Eric Brown, British fighter pilot and test pilot, aged 17 in 1936 and later becoming the Fleet Air Arm's most decorated pilot, stated in a BBC documentary: "I actually witnessed Hitler shaking hands with Jesse Owens and congratulating him on what he had achieved".


In Germany, Jesse Owens had been allowed to travel with and stay in the same hotels as whites, at a time when African Americans in many parts of the United States had to stay in segregated hotels that accommodated only blacks.


Jesse Owens was employed to do campaign outreach for African American votes for the Republican presidential nominee Alf Landon in the 1936 presidential election.


Jesse Owens decided to capitalize on his success by returning to the United States to take up some of the more lucrative endorsement offers.


Jesse Owens returned home from the 1936 Olympics with four gold medals and international fame, yet had difficulty finding work.


Jesse Owens took on menial jobs as a gas station attendant, playground janitor, and manager of a dry cleaning firm.


Jesse Owens was prohibited from making appearances at amateur sporting events to bolster his profile, and he found out that the commercial offers had all but disappeared.


Jesse Owens made appearances at baseball games and other events.


Jesse Owens later became a director, in which capacity he worked until 1946.


Jesse Owens would remain based in Chicago for most of the rest of his life.


In 1946, Jesse Owens joined Abe Saperstein in the formation of the West Coast Negro Baseball League, a new Negro baseball league; Jesse Owens was Vice-President and the owner of the Portland Rosebuds franchise.


Jesse Owens toured with the Rosebuds, sometimes entertaining the audience in between doubleheader games by competing in races against horses.


Jesse Owens helped promote the exploitation film Mom and Dad in African American neighborhoods.


Jesse Owens tried to make a living as a sports promoter, essentially an entertainer.


Jesse Owens would give local sprinters a ten- or twenty-yard start and beat them in the 100-yd dash.


Jesse Owens challenged and defeated racehorses; as he revealed later, the trick was to race a high-strung Thoroughbred that would be frightened by the starter's shotgun and give him a bad jump.


Jesse Owens traveled to Rome for the 1960 Summer Olympics, where he met the 1960 100 meters champion Armin Hary of Germany, who had defeated American Dave Sime in a photo finish.


In 1965, Jesse Owens was hired as a running instructor for spring training for the New York Mets.


Jesse Owens ran a dry cleaning business and worked as a gas station attendant to earn a living, but he eventually filed for bankruptcy.


Jesse Owens would continue his goodwill tours in the 1960s and 1970s.


Jesse Owens traveled the world and spoke to companies such as the Ford Motor Company and stakeholders such as the United States Olympic Committee.


Jesse Owens initially refused to support the black power salute by African-American sprinters Tommie Smith and John Carlos at the 1968 Summer Olympics.


Jesse Owens traveled to Munich for the 1972 Summer Olympics as a special guest of the West German government, meeting West German Chancellor Willy Brandt and former boxer Max Schmeling.


Jesse Owens argued that the Olympic ideal was supposed to be observed as a time-out from war and that it was above politics.


Jesse Owens was a pack-a-day cigarette smoker for 35 years, starting at age 32.


Jesse Owens died of the disease at age 66 in Tucson, Arizona, on March 31,1980, with his wife and other family members at his bedside.


Jesse Owens was buried next to the Lake of Memories at Oak Woods Cemetery in Chicago, near where his children and extended family still lived.


Jesse Owens showed extraordinary love for his family and friends.


Jesse Owens's achievements have shown us all the promise of America.


The dormitory that Jesse Owens occupied during the Berlin Olympics has been fully restored into a living museum, with pictures of his accomplishments at the games, and a letter from a fan urging him not to shake hands with Hitler.


In 2016, the 1936 Olympic journey of the eighteen Black American athletes, including Jesse Owens, was documented in the film Olympic Pride, American Prejudice.