Columbus in Franklin County, Ohio — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
James Cleveland Owens was born in Alabama in 1913 and moved with his family to Cleveland at age nine. An elementary school teacher recorded his name "Jesse" when he said "J.C." It became the name he used for the rest of his life. Owens' dash to the Olympics began with track and field records in junior high and high school. Owens chose The Ohio State University without scholarship, supporting himself by working many jobs, including one in the University Libraries. The pinnacle of his sports career came at the 1936 Berlin Olympics, where he won four gold medals, frustrating Adolf Hitler's attempt to showcase Aryan superiority. After his return, Owens found work as a playground director in Cleveland beginning his life work with underprivileged youth.
Jesse Owens served as the personal representative of President Eisenhower at the 1956 Olympic Games, and, in 1976, President Ford presented him with the Medal of Freedom, the highest honor the U.S. can bestow on a civilian. When Owens died in 1980, President Carter added his voice to tributes from around the world: "Perhaps no athlete better symbolized the human struggle against tyranny,
Erected 2003 by Ohio Bicentennial Commissin, The Ohio State University Alumni Association, and The Ohio Historical Society. (Marker Number 69-25.)
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Charity & Public Work • Government & Politics • Sports. In addition, it is included in the Former U.S. Presidents: #34 Dwight D. Eisenhower, the Former U.S. Presidents: #38 Gerald R. Ford, Jr., the Former U.S. Presidents: #39 James Earl "Jimmy" Carter, Jr., and the Ohio Historical Society / The Ohio History Connection series lists. A significant historical year for this entry is 1913.
Location. 40° 0.684′ N, 83° 1.713′ W. Marker is in Columbus, Ohio, in Franklin County. Marker is near the SW corner of Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium on The Ohio State University campus. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 2450 Fred Taylor Drive, Columbus OH 43210, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The Jesse Owens Track (here, next to this marker); Coach Woody Hayes (approx. 0.2 miles away); A. B. Graham and the 4-H Movement / Nationwide and Ohio Farm Bureau 4-H Center (approx. Ό mile away); a different marker also named Coach Woody Hayes (approx. 0.3 miles away); Richard & Annette Bloch Cancer Survivors Plaza (approx. 0.4 miles away); The Lane Avenue Bridge (approx. 0.4 miles away); The Lane Avenue Bridges (approx. half a mile away); a different marker also named The Lane Avenue Bridges (approx. half a mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Columbus.
Related marker. Click here for another marker that is related to this marker.
Credits. This page was last revised on June 28, 2022. It was originally submitted on October 20, 2008, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. This page has been viewed 2,220 times since then and 47 times this year. Last updated on October 21, 2008, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. Photos: 1. submitted on October 20, 2008, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. 2. submitted on October 21, 2008, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. 3, 4. submitted on October 20, 2008, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. • Kevin W. was the editor who published this page.