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date: 05 August 2020

Evans, Lee locked

(25 Feb. 1947– ), track and field athlete, Olympic champion, and coach,
  • Adam R. Hornbuckle


was born in Madera, California, the fourth of seven children born to Dayton Evans, Sr., a brick and mortar carrier, and Pearlie Mae Evans. Born Lee Edward Evans, he grew up in the San Joaquin Valley, where he picked cotton with his mother and siblings to supplement the family income. He remembered how the field boss would often cheat them out of pay by underweighing the cotton, yet they never complained for fear of losing their jobs. In 1962 the Evans family moved to Fresno and then to San Jose, where Evans began competing in track and field at Overfelt High School. Coached by Stan Dowell, he developed into one of the nation’s fastest high school quarter-milers, posting a personal best time of 46.9 seconds for 440 yards during his senior year in 1965.

After graduating high school in 1965 Evans entered San Jose State College on an ...

A version of this article originally appeared in African American National Biography.

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