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Owens, Jesse

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An African-American athlete of the twentieth century. He won four gold medals in track and field events at the Olympic Games of 1936, held in Germany when Adolf Hitler was leader. His victories were a source of pride to the United States and also — because Owens was black — a blow to the Nazi notions of a master race.

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The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

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