1936 Olympics Jesse Owens Impact.

By: Shefali P.


Jesse Owens was born on Sept.12, 1913 in Oakville, Alabama. His real name was James Cleveland Owens but he changed it to Jesse Owens and his nickname was "The Buckeye Bullet”. He went to Cleveland East Technical High school and was encouraged to focus on track. He was a student at Ohio State University. His parents name were Henry and Emma Owens, his wife's name was Minnie Ruth Solomon they had 3 kids named Gloria, Beverly, and Marlene. Owens had 6 brothers and sister. 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.

Early life

Owens was a sickly child often too frail and when he was in 5th grade his athletic supervisor asked him to join track team. From a skinny boy he developed into a strong runner. In Junior high school he set a record for a 100 yd dash. In his senior years he was elected as president of East tech’s student council as well as captain of its track team.

Owens Accomplishments/conflict with Hitler

When Owens won in Berlin Hitler did not congratulate Owens, but that day he didn't congratulate anybody else either not even German winners. Owens proved to the world that Nazi claims of Aryan superiority were a lie. Owens won 1st of 4 gold medals in 100 meter, 200 meter, long jump and 4 * 100 meter relay. He was the most successful athlete at the games and such has been credited with “single- handedly crushing Hitler’s myth of Aryan supremacy”.

Later life

Owens retired from amateur athletics and started to earn money for his physical talents. Owens use to smoke a pack a day of cigarettes for 35 years. Doctors said that the cancer was incurable. He re-entered the University of Arizona Health Science Center in Tucson, he lapsed into a coma and died 3:40 A.M. Owens died on March 31, 1980 in Tucson, Arizona. He died of lung cancer when he was 66 yrs old.

Works Cited

“The Nazi Olympics” Jewish Virtual Library. American- Israeli Cooperative Enterprise, 2015. Web. 20 February 2015.

Sherrow, Victoria. Holocaust #2. Woodbridge, Connecticut: Black birch Press, 1998. Print.