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Jesse Owens: Legendary Gold Medal Olympian
Judith P. Josephson

eFrog Press, 2014

"I always loved running," said Jesse Owens, who as a boy could outrun all his playmates. That blazing speed helped Owens set track records in junior high, high school, and on into college at Ohio State University. At one Big Ten meet, he smashed three world records and tied a fourth in forty-five minutes. By the time Owens competed in the 1936 Olympics in Berlin, Germany, people were using words like "express" and "comet" to describe him. Germany's leader, Adolf Hitler, and his Nazi party believed that Jews, African-Americans, and many others were inferior beings. At the 1936 Olympics, Jesse Owens helped prove that Hitler was wrong. Owens won an amazing four Olympic gold medals for the United States in track and field events.

While today's athletes communicate on I-Pads, I-phones, and more, Jesse Owens and his fellow athletes gathered around a Victrola to listen to music, wrote real letters, and now and then sent telegrams to their families. For Jesse Owens, there were no lucrative endorsement deals or full-page newspaper spreads, just raw talent. He went to the Olympics with no snazzy outfits and one pair of track shoes. (His coach went out and bought him a second pair, worried that Jesse's one pair would disintegrate on the crushed cinder tracks.)

The Olympic motto, which means "faster, higher, stronger," doesn't include the word "winning." The famed Olympic five intertwined rings aren't gold. Yet Jesse Owens embodied that motto and he did win gold medals. At the Olympics and in his life, he succeeded in spite of the racism of his day, poverty, and other obstacles. He met these challenges with strength, perseverance, and grace. A man of determination and courage, he rose above the racism of the era to become a consummate athlete, a humanitarian, a friend of youth, and an ambassador of sports.

In this e-book biography, Judith Pinkerton Josephson explores the life and career of this famous track and field star. To order Jesse Owens: Legendary Gold Medal Olympian, a Spotlight Biography (E-Frog Press), go to

Recent Praise for Jesse Owens

As one of my favorite biography subjects, Jesse Owens has garnered some well-deserved praise lately to celebrate 80 years since his triumph at the 1936 Olympics: in a 2016 movie; Race, a documentary, More than Gold, and a Parade Magazine article, "Remembering Jesse Owens." At the Olympics and in his life, Jesse Owens succeeded in spite of the racism of his day, poverty, and other obstacles.

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Jesse Owens: Legendary Gold Medal Olympian

A well-written absorbing biography of the track legend. The author nicely balances stories about the development of Owens the athlete with details about his personal life and the struggles he faced as an African American . . . one of the strengths of this book is the strong focus that it gives to Owens's childhood in Alabama and Ohio and his years after his Olympic triumph. Extensive notes follow each chapter . . . The index is excellent.

— School Library Journal

The book, which is aimed at middle-grade students, covers well-worn territory in recounting the personal triumphs of Owens on and off the field. This is a heroic story that demands to be shared with each new generation.

— Los Angeles Times
Bookshelf For Young Readers

From Readers:

"Impeccably researched"

"An inspirational story"

"Thought-provoking book for a classroom library"

"Enjoyable, accessible read!"

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