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Jesse Owens


African-American track star earned four precious metal medals on the 1936 Berlin Olympics, successful within the 100 m, 200 m, 4 x 100 m, and lengthy jump. He was known as Jesse just because his southern accent produced J.C. tough to listen to. The Jesse Owens Prize, called after him, is definitely the highest honor for monitor and field sportsmen. He was as well as Minnie Ruth Solomon from senior high school until his loss of life. Many people evaluate sprinter Usain Bolt to him.

Quick Facts

Full Name Jesse Owens
Date Of Birth September 12, 1913
Died March 31, 1980, Tucson, Arizona, United States
Place Of Birth Oakville, AL
Height 1.78 m
Weight 75 kg
Profession Runner
Education Ohio State University, East Technical High School
Nationality American
Spouse Minnie Ruth Solomon
Children Gloria Owens, Marlene Owens, Beverly Owens
Parents Mary Emma Fitzgerald, Henry Cleveland Owens
Awards Associated Press Male Athlete of the Year
Star Sign Virgo

  • Facts
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1Ironically, he was not intended to be part of the relay team in the 1936 Olympic Games. He and Ralph Metcalfe replaced Marty Glickman and Sam Stoller, the only Jewish members of the 1936 Olympic track team.
2Owens once worked for exploitation titan Kroger Babb, traveling the road with the movie Mom and Dad (1945) with an all-black crew serving African American theaters. Owens would deliver a lecture on "sex hygiene" during an intermission.
3The runner he beat in the 200-meter dash at the 1936 Summer Olympics was Jackie Robinson's brother, Matthew "Mack" Robinson, who also beat the world record at the time while taking the silver medal.
4Was a member of Alpha Phi Alpha, the first intercollegiate Greek-letter fraternity established for African-Americans.
5Became famous for beating horses in a 100-yard dash - but there was a trick to it: They used a starting gun, which would startle the horse long enough to give Owens enough of a head start to win.
6Was invited back to Berlin in the 1960s, to the same stadium where he'd won his Olympic medals, and was given a hero's welcome. The mayor addressed him: "The last time you were here, Adolf Hitler refused to shake your hand. Today, I'm proud to give you both of mine." Owens and the mayor embraced, then Owens ran one last ceremonial lap around the track, with the crowd cheering.
7During the 1968 Mexico City games, he was called in to talk to the black athletes to try to ease the tension created after the banishment of Tommie Smith and John Carlos. After he met with the athletes, he was seen leaving the meeting in tears because he felt that he was unable to reach the more radical athletes who saw him as nothing more than an "Uncle Tom".
8Inducted into the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame, 1983 (charter member).
9Even though he defeated the top German athletes in the 1936 Olympics, the German people liked him. Crowds of 110,000 cheered him in Berlin's glittering Olympic Stadium - fans sought his autograph and picture when he walked the streets. In 1982, Berlin renamed the avenue leading to the Olympic stadium "Jesse Owens Allee" (Parkway) in his honor. His widow and family attended the dedication ceremony as guests of the German government.
10He won 4 gold medals at the 1936 Olympics.



The World's Fastest Men2012Documentary short
The Olympic Series: Golden Moments 1920-20022003Video documentaryHimself
The Mike Douglas Show1972-1977TV SeriesHimself - Olympic Medalist / Himself - Olympics Athlete / Himself - Olympics Champion
From Montreal, the Bob Hope Olympic Benefit1976TV MovieHimself
The Way It Was1976TV SeriesHimself
The David Frost Show1970-1972TV SeriesHimself
Sport, sport, sport1970DocumentaryHimself (uncredited)
The Joey Bishop Show1968TV SeriesHimself
The Ed Sullivan Show1956-1967TV SeriesHimself - Audience Bow / Himself
Jesse Owens Returns to Berlin1966TV Movie documentaryHost / Narrator
Valentine's Day1964TV SeriesHimself
What's My Line?1960TV SeriesHimself - Mystery Guest
This Is Your Life1960TV SeriesHimself
Person to Person1955TV Series documentaryHimself
I've Got a Secret1954TV SeriesHimself
The Olympic Games of 19481948DocumentaryHimself
Olympic Cavalcade1948DocumentaryHimself (as Jessie Owens)
Kings of the Olympics1948DocumentaryHimself
Olympia Part One: Festival of the Nations1938DocumentaryHimself (uncredited)
Berlin 1936: Games of the XI Olympiad1936TV Mini-SeriesHimself
High Lights of the 1936 Olympics Berlin1936Documentary shortHimself

Archive Footage

Archive Footage

A Football Life2016TV SeriesHimself
Hitler's Olympics2016TV Movie documentaryHimself (uncredited)
The Book Thief2013Himself
Glickman2013TV Movie documentary
American Experience2004-2012TV Series documentaryHimself
Third Reich: The Rise & Fall2010TV Series documentaryHimself
Naked Science2010TV Series documentaryHimself - 1936 Olympic Games
The Harlem Globetrotters: The Team That Changed the World2005TV Movie documentaryHimself (uncredited)
La neuvième2004TV Movie documentaryHimself (uncredited)
The True Story of Seabiscuit2003TV Movie documentaryHimself
Fists of Freedom: The Story of the '68 Summer Games1999DocumentaryHimself
The Century: America's Time1999TV Mini-Series documentaryHimself - U.S. Olympic Athlete
The 20th Century: A Moving Visual History1999TV Mini-Series documentaryHimself
100 Years of Olympic Glory1996TV Movie documentaryHimself (uncredited)
The Journey of the African-American Athlete1996TV Movie documentaryHimself
Ghosts of Mississippi1996Himself - Racing in Berlin (uncredited)
Mo' Funny: Black Comedy in America1993TV Special documentaryHimself
Die Macht der Bilder: Leni Riefenstahl1993DocumentaryHimself
The Great Depression1993TV Series documentaryHimself
When It Was a Game1991TV Movie documentaryHimself
That's Black Entertainment1990DocumentaryHimself
The 1930's: Music, Memories & Milestones1988Video documentaryHimself - Competes at Berlin Olympics
Brother Can You Spare a Dime1975DocumentaryHimself
Days of Our Years1950DocumentaryHimself
The Negro Soldier1944Documentary shortHimself - 1936 Olympic Games (uncredited)
Charlie Chan at the Olympics1937Himself (uncredited)

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1If you don't try to win you might as well hold the Olympics in somebody's back yard.
2I let my feet spend as little time on the ground as possible. From the air, fast down, and from the ground, fast up.
3The only bond worth anything between human beings is their humanness.
4For a time, at least, I was the most famous person in the entire world.
5Life doesn't give you all the practice races you need.
6One chance is all you need.
7Find the good. It's all around you. Find it, showcase it and you'll start believing in it.
8Although I wasn't invited to shake hands with Hitler, I wasn't invited to the White House to shake hands with the President either.
9The battles that count aren't the ones for gold medals. The struggles within yourself - the invisible, inevitable battles inside all of us - that's where it's at.
10A lifetime of training for just ten seconds.
11Friendships born on the field of athletic strife are the real gold of competition. Awards become corroded, friends gather no dust.
12We all have dreams. But in order to make dreams come into reality, it takes an awful lot of determination, dedication, self-discipline, and effort.
13[When asked about how he felt years after Adolf Hitler refused to shake his hand at the Olympics] I'm here. He's not.

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