Jesse Owens was born in September 12, 1913 he grew up in a small farm in Oakville, Alabama.His given name was James Cleveland, his nickname was J.C.His grandparents were slaves and his parents, Henry and Mary were sharecroppers.J.C. lived with a lot of brother and sisters, it was hard but they made it work. When J.C was about nine there family moved to Cleveland, Ohio.When it was J.C's first day of school his teacher ask for his name "J.C. Owens" but his teacher thought he said "Jesse Owens" and from that day on he was called Jesse Owens.
When Jesse was older he worked on sweeping floors, cleaning shoes, watering plants, and delivering groceries but they were still poor.In 1927 Jesse went to Fairmount Junior High School and that is where he met Charles Riley, a gym teacher and coach of the track team.Riley saw how fast Jesse was and asked him to train for the track team.Jesse was busy in the afternoon so he met Riley in the morning before school started.Riley told Jesse don't just train for this race train for the future races to.With lots of hard work and dedication he ran so fast and also with such grace.When it was 1928 Jesse Owens set the Junior high school record for the long jump and high jump.In 1933 he set a high school record for the long jump and also for the 220-yard dash.
Jesse meets Charles Riley
After that he went to Ohio State University and of course he was on the track team.On May 25, 1935 at the Big Ten Championship, he was one of the greatest athlete ever remembered.He made three world records and tied for 4th, all in forty-five minutes.Some weeks later, on July 5, 1935, Jesse married Minnie Ruth Solomon, a woman he had met at Fairmount Junior High School.This is a little he said "I fell in love with her the first we talked,"she was quiet, smart, and loving and supportive wife for Jesse, and a great mother to their three daughter, Gloria, Marlene, and Beverly.A little later in 1936 the Olympics games were held at Berlin, Germany.Adolf Hitler, the German Nazi leader at the time, he said that blacks and especially jewish were inferior.Jesse and some other athletes proved him wrong.Jesse won four gold metals and was a hero.He also made the Olympic record of 10.3 seconds for the 100-meter race AND a new world record of 20.7 seconds for the 200 meters around a curve, and was part of a team that set ANOTHER record for the 400-meter relays.With a long jump of 26 feet, in 5 5/16 inches, and with that Jesse Owens set ANOTHER record. Lutz Long, the popular German jumper who came up to shake Jesse's hand.
Jesse tied the Olympic record of 10.3
There was a parade in Cleveland to welcome Jesse back home,and this also happened in New York City, he rode at the head of a ticker-tape parade of the entire Olympic team.But there was prejudiced, too, and Jesse said that "I couldn't ride in the front of the bus...I couldn't live where I wanted."In the years following Jesse's great victories from the 1930's he started to make his own band of blacks.Then he started the Jesse Owens Dry Cleaning Company in 1938,but sadly it went out of business a year after.Jesse made hundreds of speeches and every body admired him.He was called "the worlds fastest human"and he says to always work hard and dream because anything can happen.But sadly Jesse died of lung cancer on March 31, 1980, in Tucson, Arizona.