September 12, 1913 – March 31, 1980
- American track and field athlete
- Four-time Olympic gold medalist in the 1936 games
- His achievement of setting three world records and tying another in less than an hour at the 1935 Big Ten track meet in Ann Arbor, Michigan, has been called “the greatest 45 minutes ever in sport” and has never been equalled.
- At the 1936 Olympics in Berlin, Germany, Owens won international fame with four gold medals: 100 meters, 200 meters, long jump, and 4 × 100 meter relay.
- He was the most successful athlete at the games and as such has been credited with “single-handedly crush[ing] Hitler’s myth of Aryan supremacy.”
- Owens was ranked by ESPN as the sixth greatest North American athlete of the twentieth century and the highest-ranked in his sport.