World Famous Olympian

About Jesse Owens:

Jesse Owens was a world famous Olympic gold medalist. He was born on September 12th, 1913 in Oakville, Alabama, and died on March 31st, 1980 of lung cancer.


Jesse Owens was an outstanding athlete in track and field. He set countless records, won many championships and college events, and later won four Olympic gold metals in the 1936 Olympic Games.

Although Jesse Owens became one of the most amazing athletes that this world knows, he really struggled to get to the top. He suffered from chronic bronchial congestion and often battled with pneumonia as well. He also came from a poor family. His parents were both sharecroppers, and his grandparents were former slaves. He was also African - American. But he was so talented and so fast, that the track coaches had to see past the color of skin, and it's a good thing they did!

Who was Jesse Owens?

Jesse Owens was an inspiration to the world because he didn't let anything get in the way of success. Through all of the struggles of his childhood, he managed to fight through and later accomplished his first place up on the podium.

Three words to describe Owens would be:

- Determined "We all have dreams. But in order to make dreams come into reality, it takes an awful lot of determination, dedication, self-discipline, and effort." - Jesse Owens

- Strong "The 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." - Jesse Owens

- Optimistic "Find the good. It's all around you. Find it, showcase it and you'll start believing in it." - Jesse Owens

Who Knew?

Jesse Owens actual name was James Cleveland Owens, but his track coach misheard him when he said J.C. because of his thick southern accent. He is better known as Jesse rather than J.C.

Arianna Delgado