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Jesse Owens

Jesse Owens was a renowned twentieth century African-American track and field athlete. He was considered the most famous athlete, as he excelled in the sprints and the long jump. He earned fame and respect in the sports world by achieving four gold medals in Olympics.

James Cleveland Owens was born on September 12, 1913 in Oakville, Alabama, to Henry Cleveland Owens and Mary Emma Fitzgerald. When he was nine years old, his family moved to Cleveland, Ohio. The movement was in the light of Great Migration, when 1.5 million African Americans left the segregated South. When he was enrolled at the school he pronounced his name ‘J. C’ in his Southern accent which was mistaken for Jesse and since then he was known as Jesse Owens. In his youth, Owens took up a number of odd jobs from grocery delivering to working in a shoe repair shop. Gradually, he realized his potential for running while he was studying at Fairmount Junior High School. He credited his junior high track coach, Charles Riley, for his success in athletic career.

Later on Owens went on to study at East Technical High School in Cleveland. It was there that his sports talent was recognized at national level. At the 1933 National High School Championship in Chicago, he equaled the world record of 9.4 seconds, in the hundred-yard dash and long-jumped 24 feet 9 and half inches. Subsequently, when his father found proper vocation to support the family, Owens enrolled himself at Ohio State University. He was given the title of “Buckeye Bullet” as he won a record eight individual NCAA championships. Despite his successful athletic career, Owen was excluded from white company and had to live off campus with other African-Americans. The discrimination level was so high at that time that his astounding athletic performance was openly ignored when it came to scholarship distribution. Therefore, he had to continue his part-time jobs in order to afford tuition for his education.

1935 is deemed a memorable year for Owens when during the Big Ten meet  he set three world

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