OSU Honors Jesse Owens with Statue, Scholarship

The family of Jesse Owens stands next to his statue outside OSU's Owens Memorial Track and Field Stadium.
The family of Jesse Owens stands next to his statue outside OSU's Owens Memorial Track and Field Stadium.

Ohio State University is celebrating the 75th anniversary of Jesse Owens historic 1936 Olympic performance in Berlin. OSU Thursday unveiled a statue of track legend outside the Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium.

Owens’ three daughters, his grandchildren and great grandchildren helped unveil the 8 foot bronze statue of Owens wearing his 4 Olympic gold medals.

OSU President E. Gordon Gee called Owens an enormous figure in an era of small minded people, an era of prejudice.

Gloria Owens Hemphill said it wasn’t easy for her father to break three world records and tie another as an OSU runner in 1935. She said it was not easy for him to stand up to Adolf Hitler in 1936, nor was it easy for him to accept fame with humility. But she said Jesse Owens inspires others to overcome obstacles and succeed.

Thursday night comedian Bill Cosby was to honor Owens at a dinner to raise money for a scholarship in his name.

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