Black History Essay, Research Paper
Jesse Owens was a wonderful athlete and admirer to many people. He was very talented
and had received the gift of speed. He used this speed to launch his career as a wonderful runner.
He wasn?t just a runner, but a great person to the world. Jesse didn?t just use his fame for money,
but he tried to use his fame for other more important matters.
A star to be was born on September 12, 1913 in Alabama. He lived a hard life, he was ill,
and in poverty. He grew up in a very large family. He had six brothers, Prentice, Johnson, Henry,
Earnest, Quincy, and Sylvester. There were also three sisters, Ida, Josephine, and Lillie. When
Jesse was a child, at age six, he had to help out in the family by being a sharecropper with his
mom and brothers and sisters. Owen?s family did the best they could to keep a roof over their
head and food on the table. Some nights there was no food on the table, but they did their best.
When Jesse was 7 he had gotten pneumonia and had gotten bad pains in his leg. When it hurt so
much Jesse wouldn?t even go to bed. Since Jesse?s leg hurt so much, Jesse?s mom had to cut the
growth pain out so Jesse wouldn?t be in as much pain. His leg healed quickly though. Jesse had
moved to Cleveland, Ohio to try to start a new life because the one that the family were living in
wasn?t the best. Lille, Jesse?s sister, had moved there first and told the family that they get better
pay. That move to Ohio was one of the best things for Jesse that happened in his life. This move
helped his family and himself. Where do you think Jesse would be if he didn?t move?
Jesse has accomplished much and has succeeded in many goals in his lifetime. He won
many awards and has achieved many world records. In high school, he won four gold medals in a
high school meet. His first track record was for the 100 meter dash which he finished in 10
seconds. He won the 1936 Summer Olympics gold medal. He won the 100 meter race in 10.3
seconds and the 200 meter race which he finished in 20.7 seconds, and the long jump too. In
1936 he won the gold medal for the 400 meter relay.
After his career as a runner, he had moved forward to public relations in business. He
worked in Illinois Athletic Commission for quite some time. He had become head of the Youth
Commission. He traveled world wide and had given speeches concerning clean air, and fair play.
Also in his later life he had been a band leader. He had become and owner of a basketball team.
My Life as a Black and White Man was one of his books he had written during his later life.
Another book that Jesse wrote in his later life was The Jesse Owens Story.
Jesse believed that athletic competition could help solve racial and political problems. He
was known as the greatest track and field athlete in history said by the Associated Press. A sad
day came when Jesse, the greatest track and field runner in the world, died of lung cancer on
March 31, 1980 in Arizona. Even though he is dead he will forever be remembered by many
people. He will forever be known to have strived for what he wanted to achieve.
Coffey, Wayne. Jesse Owens. Woodbridge: Blackbirch Press, 1992.
Gentry, Tony. Jesse Owens. New York: Chelsea House Publishers, 1990.
?Owens, Jesse.? Encarta 96 Encyclopedia (Electronic Version), 1995 Microsost,
Rottkov, Richard. ?Jesse Owens.? World Book. V. 14, 1992, 890-891.