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Adam R. Hornbuckle

track and field athlete, Olympic decathlon champion, professional football player, community organizer, and motivational speaker, was born on 9 December 1933, in Plainfield, New Jersey. Milton Gray Campbell was the second of three children of Thomas and Edith Campbell. His father worked as a taxi cab driver and his mother as a domestic. At Plainfield High School Campbell excelled in football, track and field, and swimming. In his junior year he competed in the 100 meters and the 110-meter high hurdles at the 1952 United States Olympic Trials finishing sixth in the second semifinal heat of the 100 meters and fifth in the finals of the 110 meter high hurdles Later that summer Campbell competed in the Amateur Athletic Union AAU Decathlon National Championships which also served as the Olympic Trials for the two day ten event contest In his first attempt at ...

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John Hanners

football player, social activist, author, singer-actor, and ordained minister, was born Roosevelt Grier on a farm in Cuthbert, Georgia, the seventh of Joseph and Ruth Grier's eleven children. At age thirteen he moved with his family to Roselle, New Jersey. Offered an athletic scholarship to Penn State University, he enrolled in 1950 and studied psychology, music, and education. His college athletic career was exceptional. Not only did he receive first-team All-American football honors in 1955, but he also set an Intercollegiate Association of Amateur Athletics of America shot-put record (fifty-eight feet) in track and field.

In 1965 Grier signed with the National Football League's New York Giants for a $500 bonus and a yearly salary of $6,500. During a long career that lasted from 1955 through 1968 Grier was a dominant defensive tackle in an era known for excellent defensive players His size ...

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Ramona Hoage Edelin

professor, coach, and civic leader, was born in Chester, South Carolina, the eldest of sixteen children of William Charles and Susie (Jackson) Lewis. Only five of the children lived past early childhood. Lewis's father was born on 11 March 1854, the son of an enslaved woman. He was permitted to obtain an education by learning with the white children of the household and, later, by attending public school. He later taught school in Chester County, South Carolina. He and Susie, always a homemaker, raised their surviving children in a two-story house and farm on York Road in Chester.

William Charles Lewis II attended the Brainard Academy in Chester, a private school of the Presbyterian Church. He graduated with a three-year trade certificate in harness making from Virginia's Hampton Normal and Agricultural Institute (later Hampton University) and in 1907 was a football player and coach ...

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Gregory Travis Bond

athlete and civil servant, was born Robert Wells Marshall in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, the son of Richard Marshall, a railroad porter and laborer, and Symanthia Gillepsie Marshall. The family soon moved to Minneapolis, Minnesota, and Marshall first rose to prominence as an athlete at Minneapolis Central High School (MCHS), where he participated in football, baseball, ice hockey, and track. In 1900 Marshall led the Central High football team to a 0–0 tie against the University of Minnesota varsity, which would go on to capture the Western Conference (later the Big Ten) championship. MCHS completed its 1900 schedule undefeated, and claimed the mythic title of “High School Champions of the West.”

Marshall graduated from Central in 1901 and after working for a year to help support his family he enrolled at the University of Minnesota Although most professional sports had been effectively segregated by the twentieth century Minnesota ...

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Nadine McIlwain

associate justice of the Minnesota Supreme Court, defensive lineman, and NFL star football player for the Minnesota Vikings and Chicago Bears, was born in Canton, Ohio, the youngest of four children of Howard Page, a nightclub owner, and Georgianna Page, a country club locker-room attendant. Like most black families in Canton, the Pages lived on the town's Southeast side. His parents' salaries provided for a standard of living that others in the heart of Canton's black community considered well-to-do. Page described his family's social status as “upper lower class” in an interview with journalist Larry Batson.

Regardless of status, the Page children, Marvel, Twila, Howard Jr., and Alan suffered the same indignities and lack of opportunity as many postwar African American families The children attended Canton City Schools When Page was a fifth grader at South Market Elementary School Howard Page decided ...

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Michael C. Miller

football player, was born Melvin Lacy Elisha Renfro in Houston, Texas. When Mel was four his family moved to Portland, Oregon. He attended Jefferson High School, where he excelled as a football player, playing offense (quarterback and running back), defense (defensive back), and special teams (kick and punt returner). Renfro led Jefferson to thirty-four consecutive victories, including three state championships. The only loss he suffered was the state championship his senior year. He graduated high school in 1960.

Renfro attended Oregon University where he ran track and played football becoming one of the best players in the school s history As in high school he played offense defense and special teams For his career he amassed 1 540 rushing yards averaging 5 5 yards per carry and twenty three touchdowns On defense he played safety and once recorded an astounding twenty one tackles in a game against Ohio ...

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Paul Finkelman

athlete, actor, singer, civil rights activist, and Communist sympathizer. Paul Leroy Robeson was born in Princeton, New Jersey, the youngest of five children. In 2004 the United States Postal Service issued a commemorative stamp for Paul Robeson. The press release issued by the Post Office recounted his career as an All-American college athlete, a film star, and an internationally acclaimed singer. The release also noted his fearless opposition to racism, describing him as

well known as an activist and an outspoken participant in labor and peace movements [whose] public appearances were infused with his strong political beliefs, especially his principled stand against racism in the U.S. and around the world. He was opposed to colonialism in Africa and worked to assist and support African liberation Movements. Alarmed by the spread of fascism in Europe, Robeson was also a prominent supporter of the Allied war effort during World War II.

The ...

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O.J. Simpson was born in a poor neighborhood of San Francisco, California, the third of four children. His father left the family when Simpson was a child. At a young age Simpson wore leg braces to correct weakness in his legs, but as a teenager at Galileo High School, he was a star athlete, participating in baseball, track, and football. At the same time Simpson received several suspensions from school for misbehavior. He graduated from Galileo in 1965, but his grades kept him from attending a major university. Instead, he enrolled at City College in San Francisco, where he had a remarkable first season of football and was offered several athletic scholarships. He remained another year at City College before meeting the admissions standards for the University of Southern California (USC), which he entered in 1967. That same year, he married his first wife, Marguerite.

Article

Steven J. Niven

football player, sportscaster, and actor, was born Orenthal James Simpson in San Francisco, California, to Jimmie Simpson, a cook, and Eunice Durden, a nurse's aide. The child disliked his unusual first name, which was-given to him by an aunt who had heard of a French actor named Orenthal. Sometime during his childhood—accounts differ as to when—he began using his initials “O. J.,” which friends later adapted to “Orange Juice” and, later, to “Juice.” When O. J. was four, Jimmie Simpson abandoned his wife and family, leaving Eunice to raise four children in a two-bedroom apartment in the run-down Potrero Hill public housing projects near San Francisco's Chinatown. Eunice Simpson worked long hours to provide for her children but it was often a hard struggle When O J contracted rickets as an infant for example he was left bowlegged and in need of leg braces that his ...

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Donald Roe

Orenthal James Simpson, better known as O. J. or simply “Juice,” was an authentic American icon. His rags-to-riches success story symbolized American individualism at its best. However, fame is often short-lived, and Simpson's journey from famous to infamous resulted from his indictment on a double murder charge and perhaps the most publicized trial of a celebrity in American history. The trial of O. J. Simpson began on 24 January 1995 and ended on 3 October 1995, and in the process the trial created a media circus and frenzy, made the recently minted cable television channel Court-TV a must-view for “narcotized” fans, resulted in a veritable cottage publishing industry for Simpson-related books, exacerbated tension along the racial divide in the United States, and challenged the nation's understanding and appreciation of its legal system.

Article

John M. Carroll

football player and judge, was born Frederick Wayman Slater in Normal, Illinois, the son of the Reverend George W. Slater Jr. and Letha Jones. As a minister in the African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church, Slater's father moved around so frequently that as a boy he was left to live for long periods with his grandparents in Chicago. During these visits he played “prairie” football, a pick-up form of the game, at Racine Avenue and Sixty-first Street, the neighborhood from which would spring his future team, the Chicago Cardinals. His old friends speculated that Slater received his nickname because of a mongrel dog named Duke, which he owned as a boy.

In 1913 his father accepted a position in Clinton Iowa where Slater attended high school and played football When he asked his parents to buy him a helmet and a pair of football shoes neither of ...

Article

John M. Carroll

Slater, Duke (19 December 1898–15 August 1966), football player and judge, was born Frederick Wayman Slater in Normal, Illinois, the son of the Reverend George W. Slater, Jr., and Letha Jones. As a minister in the African Methodist Episcopal church, Slater’s father moved around so frequently that as a boy he was left to live for long periods with his grandparents in Chicago. During these visits he recalled playing “prairie” football, a pick-up form of the game, at Racine Avenue and Sixty-first Street, the neighborhood from which would spring his future team, the Chicago Cardinals. His old friends speculated that Slater received his nickname because of a mongrel dog named Duke, which he owned as a boy.

In 1913 his father accepted a position in Clinton Iowa where Slater attended high school and played football When he asked his parents to buy him a helmet and a ...

Article

Lane Demas

football player and actor. At the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), from 1937 to 1939 Washington was the most celebrated college football player on the West Coast. He was also one of two African Americans to integrate the National Football League (NFL) in 1946.

Kenneth S. Washington was born in Los Angeles and played football at Abraham Lincoln High School. From 1937 to 1939 he played tailback at UCLA and rushed for 1,914 yards. In 1939 he led the team to its best season ever and a top-ten national ranking. At a time when prominent teams even outside the South were still unwilling to accept any black athletes, Washington played with four other African American students, including Jack Roosevelt “Jackie” Robinson and Woody Strode.

Washington and his black teammates achieved immense popularity on the West Coast and earned national recognition Los Angeles citizens overwhelmingly supported the ...

Article

Steven B. Jacobson

athlete, minister, political leader, entrepreneur, and commentator, was born Julius Caesar Watts Jr. in Eufaula, McIntosh County, Oklahoma, the fifth of six children of Helen Pierce and J. C. “Buddy” Watts Sr., a policeman, preacher, cattle owner, handyman, and local entrepreneur. The Eufaula area, part of the Creek Nation Indian Territory until 1907 had a historical tradition of Native American slaveholding and racial segregation persisted there during Watts s youth Only blacks were allowed to attend Watts s first elementary school and Eufaula s only public swimming pool excluded blacks until his father and his uncle Wade Watts who later became head of the NAACP s Oklahoma chapter and a member of the U S Civil Rights Commission successfully lobbied to open it to all races Watts had other experiences with segregation Until he was in high school whites sat on the ground ...

Article

Rachelle Gold

Republican politician. Born in Eufaula, Oklahoma, J. C. Watts Jr.—who has said that although “J. C.” does not stand for anything, he has often joked that it stands for “Julius Caesar”—was the fifth of six children. His parents, Buddy and Helen Watts, raised their children in the Baptist Church and urged them to excel in academics and athletics through hard work and personal responsibility. As a boy J. C. was one of two black children to integrate Eufaula's all-white elementary school. He graduated from high school in 1976 and then, recruited by the famous coach Barry Switzer, attended the University of Oklahoma. As quarterback for Oklahoma, Watts led the team to two consecutive Big Eight championships and Orange Bowl victories, in 1980 and 1981, and was voted most valuable player in both Orange Bowls. He graduated from Oklahoma with a degree in journalism in 1981 From ...