William D. Hubbard

From Ohio History Central

William DeHart Hubbard was the first African American to win a gold medal in an individual competition in the Olympic Games. He was born on November 25, 1903, in Cincinnati, Ohio. After completing high school in Cincinnati, Hubbard enrolled at the University of Michigan, where he excelled as a track and field athlete. In 1924, Hubbard participated in the running long jump at the Olympic Games in Paris, France. He won the gold medal.

In 1925, he set the world record in the long jump and, in 1926, tied the world record in the one hundred-yard dash. Hubbard also represented the United States in the 1928 Olympics.

Hubbard graduated from the University of Michigan in 1927. He accepted a position as the supervisor of the Department of Colored Work for the Cincinnati Public Recreation Commission. He remained in this position until 1941. He then accepted a job as the manager of Valley Homes, a public housing project in Cincinnati. The next year, Hubbard moved to Cleveland, Ohio, where he worked for the Federal Public Housing Authority. He retired in 1969 and died on June 23, 1976.

In addition to participating in track and field events, Hubbard also was an avid bowler. He served as the president of the National Bowling Association during the 1950s. He also founded the Cincinnati Tigers, a professional baseball team, which played in the Negro American League. In 1957, Hubbard was elected to the National Track Hall of Fame.

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