Owens won four gold medals and broke three world records in the 100m dash, 200m dash, 4 x 100m relay, and the long jump events. In the long jump, Owens defeated German competitor Luz Long, who actually advised him on how to approach the event. The pair became friends and Owens spoke glowingly of Long well after the Games concluded.
Owens never returned to sports and instead attempted to use his fame for commercial endorsements and the like. He was eventually named a U.S. Goodwill Ambassador and worked as a humanitarian for several organizations. There are some accounts that Owens initially frowned upon civil rights activism and obvious displays of Black pride, but softened that stance after he experienced criticism.
Owens died at the age of 66 on March 31, 1980. He was survived by his wife and high school sweetheart, Minnie Ruth and three daughters, Gloria, Marlene and Beverly.
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