Jesse Owens was born on September 12, 1913 in Oakville, Alabama. He was the son of a sharecropper and the grandson of slaves and had a very hard childhood. He was very sickly, and was often sick with chronic bronchial congestion and pneumonia. Despite all of his respiratory issues, he was still expected to work at the young age of 7; picking up to 100 pounds of cotton a day to help bring in funds for his family. At the age of 9, he moved to Cleveland with his family where he discovered life completely different from the life he’d know in the South. He especially was surprised by the differences in the schools.
Jesse Owens attended East Technical high School, where he quickly made a name for himself as a well-known sprinter. He set records on the 100-yard dash, the 200-yard dash, and the long jump. When he graduated, he enrolled at the Ohio State University, where he continued his amazing athletics. The “Buckeye Bullet”, as he was called by many, set records in many different running categories at the 1935 Big Ten Championships. He overcame a severe tailbone injury and set a world record in the 100-yard dash, he set a long jump record of 26-8¼ that stood for 25 years, and set new world marks in the 220-yard dash and in the 220-yard low hurdles. He made himself a huge success at the Big Ten games, winning 4 events at the NCAA Championships, 2 events at the AAU Championships, and 3 events at the Olympic Trials, making him complete 42 events that year, and coming out as a winner each time.
Jesse Owens was a very accomplished athlete. He competed in the Big Ten games and the 1936 Olympic Games. At the Olympics, the United States won 11 gold medals, while 6 of them were won black African American athletes. Jesse won four gold medals for the 100-meter, the long jump, the 200-meter, and the 400-meter relay race, and he also broke two Olympic records along the way. After he...