1. Owens specialized in the sprints and the long jump and was recognized in his lifetime as “perhaps the greatest and most famous athlete in track and field history”. and has never been equaled.
2. At the 1936 Summer Olympics in Berlin, Germany, Owens won international fame with four gold medals: 100 meters, 200 meters, long jump, and 4 × 100 meter relay.
3. He was the most successful athlete at the games and as such has been credited with “single-handedly crush
4. Owens was ranked by ESPN as the sixth greatest North American athlete of the twentieth century and the highest-ranked in his sport.
5. J.C., as he was called, was nine years old when the family moved to Cleveland, Ohio, for better opportunities, as part of the Great Migration, when 1.5 million African Americans left the segregated South.
6. When his new teacher asked his name , he said “J.C.”, but because of his strong Southern accent, she thought he said “Jesse”.
7. The name stuck, and he was known as Jesse Owens for the rest of his life.
8. As a boy, Owens took different jobs in his spare time: he delivered groceries, loaded freight cars and worked in a shoe repair shop while his father and older brother worked at a steel mill. During this period, Owens realized that he had a passion for running.
9. Throughout his life, Owens attributed the success of his athletic career to the encouragement of Charles Riley, his junior high track coach at Fairmount Junior High School.
10. Since Owens worked in a shoe repair shop after school, Riley allowed him to practice before school instead.
11. Owens and Minnie Ruth Solomon met at Fairmount Junior High School in Cleveland when he was 15 and she was 13.
12. They married in 1935 and had two more daughters together: Marlene, born in 1939, and Beverly, born in 1940.
13. Owens first came to national attention when he was a student of East Technical High School in Cleveland; he equalled the world record of 9.4 seconds in the 100-yard at the 1933 National High School Championship in Chicago.
14. Owens attended The Ohio State University after employment was found for his father, ensuring the family could be supported.
15. Affectionately known as the “Buckeye Bullet,” Owens won a record eight individual NCAA championships, four each in 1935 and 1936.
16. Though Owens enjoyed athletic success, he had to live off campus with other African-American athletes.
17. When he traveled with the team, Owens was restricted to ordering carry-out or eating at “blacks-only” restaurants.
18. Owens did not receive a scholarship for his efforts, so he continued to work part-time jobs to pay for school.