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Fun Facts on Jesse Owens

Fun Facts For Kids

Did You Know?
Did you know that Jesse Owens was a four time gold medalist? Do you know how many children he had? Do you know which schools he attended? Find out the answers to all these interesting questions in our fun facts for kids.

Fun Fact 1 James Cleveland "Jesse" Owens was born on September 12th, 1913 and died on March 31st, 1980. He was born in Oakville, Alabama, USA and passed away in Tucson, Arizona, USA.

Fun Fact 2 Jesse Owens had three children, their names are Beverley Owens, Marlene Owens and Gloria Owens.

Fun Fact 3: Jesse Owens was a famous American track and field athlete, his achievements during his career were outstanding. He was a four times gold medalist!

Fun Fact 4: Jessie won four Gold medals during the 1936 Olympic Games. He achieved gold in the 100m, 200m, 4 x 100m relay and long jump.

Fun Fact 5: Jesse Owens set five world records in May 1935, it was described as the greatest 45 minutes ever in sport and the records have never been broken since! He set records in the 220 yards and 200 meters straightaway, 220-yard and 200m low hurdles on a straightaway and the long jump, and tied the world record at 100 yards.

Fun Fact 6: Jesse Owens was awarded the Associated Press Male Athlete of the Year in 1936.

Fun Fact 7: Jesse Owens was the son of Henry Cleveland Owens and Mary Emma Fitzgerald.

Fun Fact 8: Jesse Owens came from a very big family, he was the youngest of ten children. He had two brothers and seven sisters.

Fun Fact 9: At the age of 9, Jesse Owens and his family moved to Cleveland, Ohio, USA, as part of the Great Migration. During this time, many African Americans left the segregated South.

Fun Fact 10: Jesse Owens always referred to himself as JC, when they moved to Cleveland a teacher asked for his name and he responded, "JC". He had a strong accent and the teacher misheard what he'd said, she thought he'd said 'Jesse' - this is where his famous nickname derived from.

Fun Fact 11: Jesse Owens had many different jobs as a young boy as he had to help provide for his family, he worked as a delivery boy for a grocery store, in a shoe repair shop and he loaded cars with freight.

Fun Fact 12: For over 35 years, James Cleveland Owens smoked a packet of cigarettes a day, he developed an aggressive form of lung cancer and was hospitalized from December 1979 until his death.

Fun Fact 13: Jesse Cleveland Owens met his wife at Fairmont Junior High School, her name was Minnie Ruth Soloman and the couple married in 1935. They were married until the day Jesse passed away.

Fun Fact 14: After Jesse Owens retired from his sporting career, he ran dry cleaning business and worked in a gas station. He filed for bankruptcy in 1966 and he was prosecuted for tax evasion.

Fun Fact 15: Jesse Cleveland Owens attended East Technical High School, it was during his time at this school that his outstanding sporting ability captured the nation's attention.

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