Jesse Owens

Jesse Owens

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Updated On June 23, 2022

Jesse Owens was one of the greatest sporting legends with his name on several world records and achievements. Jesse Owens is also best known as the four-time gold medalist in Olympic Games.

Early Life and Childhood

Jesse Owens was born as James Cleveland Owens on September 12, 1913, in Oakville, Alabama, United States. Jesse is American by nationality and follows Christianity. Being born on September 12, his birth sign was Virgo.

Talking about his family, Jesse was born to his father Henry Cleveland Owens, and his mother Mary Emma Fitzgerald. Jesse was the youngest child of his parent’s 10 children (three girls and seven boys). His family moved to Cleveland, Ohio, for better opportunities when Jesse was just nine years old.


Regarding his educational background, Jesse completed his schooling at Fairmont Junior High School in Cleveland. After that, he joined East Technical High School in Cleveland. Similarly, Jesse joined the Ohio State University for his huger studies and graduated from there.


Jesse was an avid smoker and used to smoke a whole packet a day for 35 years, starting at age 32. As result, he suffered from an extremely aggressive and drug-resistant type of lung cancer. In December 1979, Jesse was admitted to the hospital. On March 31, 1980, Jesse died at the age of 66 in Tucson, Arizona. Jesse was buried at Oak Woods Cemetery in Chicago.

Professional Life

Jesse started his career in 1936 competing in the NCAA Championship-winning four events and also making 8 event victories in 1935 and 1936. Jesse also took part in the Berlin Olympics. During that, Adolf Hitler planned to showcase Nazi German domination and power but Jesse changed this plan by winning four gold medals. Therefore, Jesse won 4 events during the Berlin Olympics.
Jesse became successful to create the world record during the 100m sprint at 10.3 seconds, in the long jump with a leap of 8.05 m. In addition to his, Jesse also won 200 m (20.7 seconds), and 4100 m races (39.8s). After this, he also received offers from Adidas athletic shoe company for promoting their shoes.

Jesse moved to Sweden for his next competition but later decided to return to the United States to achieve his athletic success by getting some productive commercial deals. Jesse never got honored by then-Presidents of America. However, in 1995, then-president Dwight D. Eisenhower praised him by naming him an “Ambassador of Sports”.

Jesse Owens

Caption: Jesse running in the track (source: Cincinnati))

Jesse was also once the Vice-President and the owner of the Portland (Oregon) Rosebuds franchise. Not only this but he also worked as an entertainer and sports promoter.

Achievements and Net Worth

Jesse got included in the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame in 1970. Similarly, Jesse was given the highest US decoration, the Congressional Medal of Freedom. In 1983, the runner again got inducted into the US Olympic Hall of Fame.

Jesse had made a pretty handful amount of money throughout his career. According to the online resources, he had an estimated net worth of $150 thousand US dollars at the time of death.

Relationship Status

Jesse Owens was in a married relationship with Minnie Ruth Solomon. Minnie was his high school girlfriend. The couple married each other in 1935. Similarly, the couple also had three daughters together born in 1932, 1939, and 1940.

Jesse Owens

Caption: Jesse Owens and his wife Minnie Ruth Solomon (source: Historical Snapshots)

Body Measurements and Social Media

Talking about body measurement, Jesse had a pretty well-shaped and well-maintained body. Since Jesse is an athlete, Jesse was very concerned about his body figure and physical appearance. Further, Jesse had a height of around 5 feet and 11 inches or 1.8 inches. Likewise, Jesse had a bodyweight of around 75 kg or 165 pounds. Further, Jesse has beautiful black eyes along with black hair.

Jesse Owens

Caption: Jesse posing in his style (source: Heritage Auctions Sports)

Moving into social media availability, Jesse is not active on any of them such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. In fact, there were no such social media before his death. Therefore, he is not available on any of them.