Ring in the new year with a Britannica Membership, This article was most recently revised and updated by, https://www.britannica.com/biography/Wilma-Rudolph, BlackHistoryNow - Biography of Wilma Rudolph, BlackPast.org - Biography of Wilma Rudolph, USA Track and Field - Biography of Wilma Rudolph, Tennessee Encyclopedia of History and Culture - Wilma Rudolph and the TSU Tigerbelles, African American Registry - Biography of Wilma Rudolph, Social Studies for Kids - Biography of Wilma Rudolph, National Women's History Museum - Biography of Wilma Rudolph, Wilma Rudolph - Children's Encyclopedia (Ages 8-11), Wilma Rudolph - Student Encyclopedia (Ages 11 and up). By the time she was twelve, Rudolph had learned to walk without the leg brace or other support. Wilma Glodean Rudolph was born on June 23, 1940 in Saint Bethlehem, Tennessee. Her cousins and siblings helped her massage the leg. June 23, Rudolph began playing basketball in 8th grade and continued to play at high school. Please refer to the appropriate style manual or other sources if you have any questions. At birth she weighed only four-and-a-half pounds. She overcame her disabilities to compete in the 1956 Summer Olympic Games, and in 1960, she became the first American woman to win three gold medals in … She lived in Clarksville, Tennessee along with 11 siblings. In 1960, before the Olympic Games at Rome, she set a world record of 22.9 seconds for the 200-metre race. When she was 4 years old, she had polio. Rudolph, an African-American, won the 100 meter dash and the 200 meter dash and anchored the winning 400 meter relay team. Temple invited Rudolph to join the Tennessee State summer training program after she won the Amateur Athletic Union’s track meets all nine events. Let us know if you have suggestions to improve this article (requires login). Dec 8, 1944. She was the 5th. Shortly after her mother’s death in 1994, Rudolph was diagnosed with brain cancer. Before Fame. Wilma Glodean Rudolph (June 23, 1940 – November 12, 1994) was an American track and … Rudolphbegan playing basketball in 8th grade and continued to play at high school. Birthday: June 23, 1940 Date of Death: November 12, 1994 Age at Death: 54. In 1983, she was inducted into the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame. She had to wear a leg brace until she was eight years old. While every effort has been made to follow citation style rules, there may be some discrepancies. Wilma Rudolph was born in St. Bethelem, a part of Clarksville, Tennessee, twentieth of twenty-two children of Ed and Blanche Rudolph. Her father, Ed Rudolph, had eleven children by a first marriage while his second marriage yielded eight more, of which Wilma was the fifth. The couple divorced in 1963. What is the world’s oldest annual marathon? She won the gold medal in each of these events, becoming the first American woman to win three gold medals in a single Olympiad. Born on June 23, 1940, in St. Bethlehem, Tennessee, Wilma Rudolph was a sickly child who had to wear a brace on her left leg. At age 16 she competed in the 1956 Olympic Games at Melbourne, Australia, winning a bronze medal in the 4 × 100-metre relay race. Dieter was born on July 5 1937, in Semmelsberg, Meißen, Dresden, Sachsen, Germany. Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox. But Wilma persisted with treatment, and she recovered her strength by the age of 12. As a child, Rudolph had poor health, and she often suffered from pneumonia. 1940. During her senior year of high school, Rudolph became pregnant and her first child Yolanda was born in 1958. She enrolled at Tennessee State University where she continued to compete in track. Early Life Rudolph was born prematurely on June 23, 1940, in … They later had three more children. Wilma Rudolph: Wilma Rudolph was considered the fastest woman alive during her racing days. She attended Tennessee State University from 1957 to 1961. I believe in me more than anything in … She also made several media appearances, including the television game show To Tell the Truth and The Ed Sullivan Show. One day, Wilma suddenly began to have severe leg pain, after which his family took him to the hospital for treatment, where he … Born on June 23 #39. They had 2 children. Wilma Glodean Rudolph was born in Saint Bethlehem, Tennessee on June 23, 1940. At the Olympic games, Rudolph was defeated with the heat in the 200-meter race but ran the third leg of the 4x100 m relay. By signing up for this email, you are agreeing to news, offers, and information from Encyclopaedia Britannica. In 1959, Rudolph won the silver medal in the 100 m individual event at the Pan American Games in Chicago, Illinois and the gold medal in the 4x 100m relay. Her first major track event was Alabama’s Tuskegee Institute competitions. She graduated university in 1963, with a bachelor’s degree in education. Wilma Glodean Rudolph (June 23, 1940 - November 12, 1994) was an American track and field sprinter, who competed in the 100 and 200 meters dash. He was a member of the North Carolina College Durham track team. She survived it, but lost the use of her left leg. Rudolph, an African-American, won the 100 meter dash and the 200 meter dash and anchored the winning 400 meter relay team. Wilma Rudolph - Biography . Omissions? Wilma Rudolph was an American sprinter who became a world-record-holding Olympic champion and international sports icon in track. She contracted polio in her early years and her doctors said she would never walk again. Wilma Glodean Rudolph (June 23, 1940 – November 12, 1994) was an American track and field sprinter, who competed in the 100 and 200 meters dash. Wilma was the fifth of this second set of children. When she turned 11 she visited the doctor's office again and was able to walk. Wilma lived on month day 1994, at address. She retired from track competition when she was 22 years old. Wilma Rudolph born born in Bethlehem, Tennessee Jun 15, 1945. After her retirement from track, Rudolph began working as a teacher and coach. Wilma Rudolph was an exceptional American track and field athlete who overcame debilitating childhood illnesses and went on to become the first American woman to win three gold medals in a single Olympics. Wilma Glodean Rudolph was born June 23, 1940, in Bethlehem, Tennessee, to a poor and very large family. Born on June 23, 1940, in St. Bethlehem, Tennessee, Wilma Rudolph was a sickly child who had to wear a brace on her left leg. Rudolph’s diagnosis was very bleak, “my doctor told me I would never walk again. She was born prematurely at 4.5 pounds and was the 20th of 22 siblings from her father’s two marriages. When Rudolph was 16 years old, she attended the 1956 U.S. Olympic track and field trials in Seattle, Washington. At High School, she began competing in track, and in her sophomore year scored 803 points, setting a school record for girls’ basketball. She recovered from polio but lost strength in her left leg and foot. She continued to train regularly under Temple and was raced in several amateur athletic events with TSU’s Women’s track team. Rudolph’s first marriage was to William Ward in 1961. After this, she set her mind on winning the gold medal at the 1960 Summer Olympics in Italy. Her strikingly fluid style made Rudolph a particular favourite with spectators and journalists. She, along her relay teammates, won the bronze medal. Olympic Gold Medalist 1940-1994. Wilma Rudolph. After graduation, Rudolph married Robert Eldridge, her high school sweetheart, with whom she already had a daughter. As a sophomore, Rudolph competed in the U.S. Olympic track and field team trials in Fort Worth and set the world record in the 200-meter race, which stood for eight years. Later in life, she formed the Wilma Rudolph Foundation to promote … Her autobiography, Wilma, was published in 1977. Encyclopaedia Britannica's editors oversee subject areas in which they have extensive knowledge, whether from years of experience gained by working on that content or via study for an advanced degree.... Who was the first athlete to run the mile in less than 4 minutes? Wilma Rudolph, in full Wilma Glodean Rudolph, (born June 23, 1940, St. Bethlehem, near Clarksville, Tennessee, U.S.—died November 12, 1994, Brentwood, Tennessee), American sprinter, the first American woman to win three track-and-field gold medals in a single Olympics. After retiring as a runner, Rudolph was an assistant director for a youth foundation in Chicago during the 1960s to develop girls’ track-and-field teams, and thereafter she promoted running nationally. American athlete who won three gold medals at the 1960 Rome Olympics, winning the 100m, 200m, and 4 x 100m relay, becoming the first American woman to take home three gold medals in track and field at a single Games. She also had scarlet fever and contracted infantile paralysis from poliovirus when she was four. The 20th of 22 children, she arrived prematurely, weighing only four and a half pounds. He knew that she is a natural athlete. Go for the gold in this track and field quiz. Almost every circumstance was stacked against Wilma Rudolph from the day she was born on June 23, 1940. https://www.biography.com › video › wilma-rudolph-mini-biography-208646211… Later in life, she formed the Wilma Rudolph Foundation to promote amateur athletics. Meet Wilma Rudolph, the remarkable sprinter and Olympic champion. Wilma Rudolph, in full Wilma Glodean Rudolph, (born June 23, 1940, St. Bethlehem, near Clarksville, Tennessee, U.S.—died November 12, 1994, Brentwood, Tennessee), American sprinter, the first American woman to win three track-and-field gold medals in a single Olympics. “‘I can’t’ are two words that have never been in my vocabulary. She also competed at the Los Angeles Invitational indoor track meet, and New York Athletic Club’s track events. Her mother was a maid in Clarksville. His mother used to work from house to house while father used to work as coolie. American sprinter Wilma Glodean Rudolph was born on June 23, 1940, in Saint Bethlehem, Tennessee. She explained that she wanted to retire while at her athletic best and decided not to compete in the 1964 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, Japan. Besides her work as a teacher, Rudolph also worked with several non-profit organization and in government-sponsored projects to support athletic development among American children. She was spotted by the track coach Ed Temple from Tennessee State. Born in 1940 #18. Rudolph died in 1994 when she was just 54 years old. Rudolph and her Olympic teammates competed in several events in Europe after the Olympic games, including the British Empire Games in London and meets in West Germany and the Netherlands. Wilma Glodean Rudolph was born on June 23, 1940 in a region of Tennessee known, at the time, as St. Bethlehem, which later became a part of Clarksville. She lost the race, but it gave her … Wilma Rudolph was born on June 23, 1940 and died on November 12, 1994. During the Olympics, she was hailed as “The Tornado, the fastest woman on earth.” After the event, she became an international star. In the 1960 Summer Olympic games in Rome, Italy, Rudolph competed in three events- the 100 meter, 200-meter sprints and the 4x100 meter relay. As one of 22 children, she was constantly surrounded by support and care, which she needed given her poor health. This principle is valid for the 59,485 celebrities included in our database. In the Games themselves she won gold medals in the 100-metre dash (tying the world record: 11.3 seconds), in the 200-metre dash, and as a member of the 4 × 100-metre relay team, which had set a world record of 44.4 seconds in a semifinal race. Rudolph was considered the fastest woman in the world in the 1960s and competed in two Olympic Games, in 1956 and in 1960. After her birth, the family moved to Clarksville, Tennessee where she spent the rest of her childhood and attended elementary and high school. When she was born, she weighed only four and a half pounds. Before she was also diagnosed with throat cancer. Wilma Rudolph, the iconic Olympic sprinter, was born June 23, 1940, in St. Bethlehem. They are, by no means, of a personal nature. Her mother, Blanche, a housemaid, feared for Wilma's survival from the outset. She became the youngest member of 1956 U.S. Olympic team. 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