1978 – Jesse Owens
Born in Oakville, Alabama, on September 12, 1913, track and field legend Jesse Owens was a Category II inductee into the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association Hall of Fame. Category II allows “an individual, team, moment, or event in sports especially noteworthy for some inspirational quality” to be inducted into the Hall of Fame. Owens was inducted for his performance at the 1936 Berlin Olympics. In Berlin he won four gold medals including: the 100-meter run, in an Olympic record 10.3 seconds; the 200-meter run, in a world record 20.7 seconds; the long jump, with a world record 8.06 meter (26.4 foot) jump; and the 4×100-Meter relay in 39.8 seconds. His performance was a blow to Hitler, who had planned to use the games to show Aryan Superiority. Owens died in 1980. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame on April 4, 1978.