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Alice Coachman Davis

November 9, 1923 - July 14, 2014

Burial Date

Obituaries » Alice Coachman Davis

Alice Coachman Davis, the first African American to win an Olympic gold medal, died Monday at the age of 90.

She was born in Albany, GA on Nov. 9, 1923 as Alice Coach-man. She attended Tuskegee University at the age of 16.

Davis won a gold medal at the 1948 Summer Olympic Games in London, in the high jump, setting a record of 5-feet-6 1/8 inches. She had won the AAU outdoor high jump title from 1939 to 1948, but was unable to compete in the Olympics until the London games. The 1940 Summer Olympics originally scheduled for Tokyo and the 1944 Summer Olympics, originally set for London, were cancelled due to World War II.

In 1952, Coca-Cola awarded Davis an endorsement contract, making her the first African-American to earn an endorsement deal. She created the Alice Coachman Track and Field Foundation to help support young athletes. At the 1996 Summer Olympic Games in A-lanta, she was recognized as one of the 100 greatest Olympians in history.

Albany’s Coachman Elementary School is named in her honor

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