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James Cleveland "Jesse" Owens was an American track and field athlete and four-time Olympic gold medalist in the 1936 games.

Jesse Owens3.jpg
Jesse Owens at the 1936 Olympics in Berlin
Personal information
Full name James Cleveland Owens
Born September 12, 1913
Oakville, Alabama, U.S.
Died March 31, 1980(1980-03-31) (aged 66)
Tucson, Arizona, U.S.
Alma mater Ohio State University
Height 5 ft 10 4 in (180 cm)
Weight 165 lb (75 kg)
Sport
Sport Track and field
Event(s) Sprint, Long jump

James Cleveland "Jesse" Owens (September 12, 1913 – March 31, 1980) was an American track and field athlete and four-time Olympic gold medalist in the 1936 games.

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". His achievement of setting three world records and tying another in less than an hour at the 1935 Big Ten track meet in Ann Arbor, Michigan, has been called "the greatest 45 minutes ever in sport" and has never been equalled. 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. He was the most successful athlete at the games and, as a Black man, was credited with "single-handedly crushing Hitler's myth of Aryan supremacy", although he "wasn't invited to the White House to shake hands with the President, either."

The Jesse Owens Award is USA Track and Field's highest accolade for the year's best track and field athlete. Owens was ranked by ESPN as the sixth greatest North American athlete of the twentieth century and the highest-ranked in his sport.