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Wilma Rudolph

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Rudolph in 1960

Wilma Rudolph (June 23, 1940 – November 12, 1994) was an American athlete. She lived in Clarksville, Tennessee along with 11 siblings. She was the 5th. When she was 4 years old, she had polio. She survived it, but lost the use of her left leg. Her cousins and siblings helped her massage the leg. When she turned 11 she visited the doctor's office again and was able to walk.

In high school, Rudolph became the star basketball player for her team. She also did track for 4 years and never lost a race. When she was 16 years old, she signed up for the Summer Olympics in track. She won the bronze medal in the track events. She was one of the first black women to win anything major like that. She decided to not to compete in the 1964 Olympics. She retired and became a school teacher and an athletic coach. She was a mother of 4 kids and divorced two husbands. She died on November 12, 1994, at the age of 54[1][2]


[change | change source]
  1. Amy Ruth (2000). Wilma Rudolph. Twenty-First Century Books. p. 97. ISBN 978-0-8225-4976-5.
  2. Maureen Margaret Smith (2006). Wilma Rudolph: A Biography. Greenwood Press. ISBN 0313333076.
  • "Wilma Rudolph." Contemporary Black Biography. Vol. 4. Detroit: Gale, 1993.Biography in Context. Web. 12 May 2014.
  • Nadasen, Premilla. "Wilma Rudolph." Encyclopedia of African-American Culture and History. Gale, 2006. Biography in Context. Web. 12 May 2014.