Jesse Owens, Olympics broad jump 1936

Owens competes in the broad jump at the 1936 Olympic Games

“Faster, Higher, Stronger – Jesse Owens: 100 Years of Life and Legacy” opens today in William Oxley Thompson Library Gallery and features material from the University Archives’ Jesse Owens Papers. The exhibit marking the 100th anniversary of Owens’ birth will run through May 5, 2013.

Owens made history at the 1936 Berlin Olympics by winning four gold medals in track and field.  Owens spent much of his later life working with young people and serving as a goodwill ambassador for the Olympic movement and the United States.  His accomplishments are explored in detail throughout the exhibit.  Highlights include Owens’ Olympic gold medals and diary, an Olympic torch from the 1936 Berlin Games, and Owens’ Presidential Medal of Freedom.

The exhibit examines Owens’ legacy after his death in 1980 and explains his connection to today’s Olympic athletes.  Material from the 2012 London Olympics worn by an Ohio State University student-athlete will be included in the exhibit.

Jesse Owen's gold medals, 1936

Owen’s gold medals, 1936

Additional information  about Owens can be found in the Archives’ web exhibit, “Jesse Owens: a lasting legend.”

An opening reception will be held Wednesday, January 23, from 4-6 p.m. in Room 165 at Thompson Library. The public is invited.

The Thompson Library is located at 1858 Neil Avenue Mall at The Ohio State University.  Gallery hours are Monday-Wednesday and Friday, 10 a.m.- 6 p.m.; Thursday, 10 a.m.- 8 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday, noon- 5 p.m.

For more information, please contact Tamar Chute (; 614-292-3271).