Today in history: Jesse Owens wins Olympic gold in Nazi Germany - KPTV - FOX 12

Today in history: Jesse Owens wins Olympic gold in Nazi Germany

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Track and field champion Jesse Owens is shown earning one of his four gold medals at the 1936 Berlin Summer Olympics, where he set an Olympic broad jump record of 26 feet, 5 1/2 inches, which remained unbroken for 24 years. (AP Photo) Track and field champion Jesse Owens is shown earning one of his four gold medals at the 1936 Berlin Summer Olympics, where he set an Olympic broad jump record of 26 feet, 5 1/2 inches, which remained unbroken for 24 years. (AP Photo)
(KPTV) -

It’s been 80 years since Jesse Owens, a black athlete from the United States, broke records at the Summer Olympics in Nazi-controlled Berlin, Germany and foiled Adolf Hitler’s plan to show off the alleged "superiority" of the Aryan race.

On Aug. 4, 1936 Owens won a gold medal in the long jump with an Olympic record of 26 feet, 5 1/2 inches.

It was the second of what would be four gold medals for Owens, a historic first for any American athlete in a single Olympic games.

Born in Alabama in Sept. 1913 as the son of a sharecropper and the grandson of a slave, Owens quickly became a star athlete, breaking records in track and field in junior high, high school and college at the Ohio State University.

Following his Olympic career, Owens devoted his life to serving underprivileged youth and traveled the country as a motivational speaker.

Jesse Owens died in March 1980 of complications from lung cancer.

His story was profiled in the Feb. 2016 film Race, starring Stephan James and Jason Sudeikis.

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