Friday, November 2, 2007

PostHeaderIcon John Woodruff Dies; 1st black athlete to win gold at 1936 Olympics in Berlin

John Woodruff, the black American runner who won the 800 meters in the 1936 Berlin Olympics in the face of Adolf Hitler and his "master race" agenda, has died. He was 92.

Woodruff, the last surviving gold medalist from that U.S. team that included the legendary runner Jesse Owens, died Tuesday at an assisted living center near Phoenix, said Rose Woodruff, his wife of 37 years.

Nicknamed "Long John" for his nearly 10-foot stride, Woodruff was a lanky 21-year-old freshman at the University of Pittsburgh with just three years of competitive running under his belt when he sailed to the racially charged scene in Berlin.


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Welcome to Olympic Updates, my continuing blog to following the Olympic Games. Founded in 2007, I have enjoyed providing news and information on the 2008 Beijing Summer Games and I look forward to keeping you up to date on the 2010 Vancouver Winter Games.

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