Jesse Owens Gold Medal Going on the Auction Block

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Reacting to concerns from the International Olympic Committee, an Orange County auction house said it checked with Jesse Owens’ family before putting his gold medal from the 1936 Berlin Olympics on the block.


Jesse Owens won four gold medals at the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin. (Credit: AP / August 14, 1936)

Owens gave the medal to a friend, entertainer Bill “Bojangles” Robinson, whose widow has now decided to sell it.

“We reached out to the family of Jesse Owens as soon as we were first contacted about the medal,” said Dan Imler, vice president of SCP Auctions of Laguna Niguel. “Out of unmitigated respect it was imperative to us and to our consignor that they be immediately informed of the decision.”

On Wednesday, IOC President Thomas Bach told the Associated Press that the medal is “a part of world heritage” that has “an importance far beyond the sporting achievements of Jesse Owens.”

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