Florence Griffith Joyner (1959-1998)

Born Florence Delorez Griffith on December 21, 1959, in Los Angeles, California, Florence Griffith Joyner was the seventh of 11 children. Joyner and her siblings were raised primarily by their mother in the impoverished Watts neighborhood of Los Angeles. She began competitive sprinting at the … Read MoreFlorence Griffith Joyner (1959-1998)

Wilma Rudolph (1940-1994)

Wilma Rudolph was born on June 23, 1940, in St. Bethlehem, Tennessee, one of the eight children of Ed and Blanche Rudolph.  At birth, she weighed only four-and-a-half pounds and had numerous health issues as a child. She suffered from double pneumonia twice and scarlet … Read MoreWilma Rudolph (1940-1994)

Jesse Owens (1913-1980)

James Cleveland “Jesse” Owens is best known for his remarkable athletic performance at the 1936 Berlin Olympics where he won four gold medals.  Owens was born near Oakville, Alabama, on September 12, 1913, the twelfth child of sharecroppers Henry Cleveland and Mary Emma Owens.  Owens, … Read MoreJesse Owens (1913-1980)

Ralph Harold Metcalfe (1910-1978)

Ralph Metcalfe, was an outstanding U.S. sprinter, track coach, and politican born in Atlanta, Georgia and raised in Chicago, Illinois. During Metcalfe’s years as a student at Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin from 1932 through 1934, he was arguably the world’s fastest human. His strong … Read MoreRalph Harold Metcalfe (1910-1978)