Joe Gans- the old masterJoe Gans became the first American-born, black sports champion when, in 1902, he won the world lightweight boxing title in Fort Erie, Canada, with a spectacular one-round knockout of the defending champion, Frank Erne.
John Baxter Taylor- First to Win Olympic Gold Medal
John Baxter Taylor Jr. was an American track and field athlete, notable as the first African American to win an Olympic gold medal. He was a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, School of Veterinary Medicine, and the most prominent African American member of the Irish American Athletic Club.
Fritz Pollard-First African American to play in Rose Bowl
Rose BowlFritz Pollard became the first African American to play in the Rose Bowl when he played for Brown University in 1916 and the first African American to coach in the National Football League in 1922. He assembled and coached the all-black Chicago Black Hawks team which became popular in the early 1930's. He was selected halfback position on the All-America team in 1916, becoming the first African American to play a backfield.
Jesse Owens-4 World Records
Jesse in BerlinJesse Owens, one of the greatest athletes, broke the myth of Aryan superamcy propogated by Hitler by smoking the competition and winning 4 gold medals.
Jackie Robinson- First in the major leages
Jackie Steals HomeHis debut game on April 15, 1947, marked the first time an African-American athlete played in the major leagues. Robinson learned how to exercise self-control -- to answer insults, violence and injustice with silence. A model of unselfish team play, he earned the respect of his teammates and, eventually, the opposition.
Althea Gibson -First to Win Wimbledon
Althea was the first black tennis player to win Wimbledon in 1957 and the U.S. Open in 1958. Althea is most remembered for breaking the color barrier in professional tennis. She won a total of five Grand Slam titles. Besides from tennis Gibson was a professional golfer and was the first black female to join the LPGA. Later on she was conducted into the Prestigous Tennis Hall of Fame.
Ernie Davis- First to win Heisman Trophy
Ernie Davis was an American football running back and the first African-American athlete to win the Heisman Trophy. Wearing number 44, Davis competed collegiately for Syracuse University before being drafted by the Washington Redskins, then almost immediately traded to the Cleveland Browns in December 1961.
Arthur Ashe- First and Only Black Man to win Major tennis titles
Arthur Ashe became the first, and still only, black player to win the men's singles at Wimbledon, the U.S. Open, or the Australian Open. Always an activist, when Ashe learned that he had contracted AIDS via a blood transfusion, he turned his efforts to raising awareness of the disease, before finally succumbing to it in 1993.
Long JumpOne of the greatest female athletes in history, she won a silver medal in the heptathlon in the 1984 Olympics and gold medals in the 1988 and 1992 Games. She also won a gold medal in the long jump in 1988 and a bronze at the 1992 Olympics. Joyner-Kersee is the heptathlon world record-holder and American record-holder in the long jump.
Tiger Woods- First and Youngest to Win Masters
Tiger Woods at 1997 MastersOn this date in 1997 the first African-American professional golfer won the Master Golf Tournament.
21-year-old Eldrick “Tiger” Woods also became the youngest player to ever win the Masters. He shot an 18 under par 270 to receive the traditional Green Jacket and the $486,000 first-place prize.