Alice Coachman Davis
Class of 1997

Category: Track

Born: 11/24/1921
Birthplace: Albany, GA

Alice Coachman Davis was born Nov. 24, 1921 in Albany, Ga. She was "discovered" by Tuskegee Institute track coach Cleve Abbott, who moved her to Alabama where he groomed her to become the best female athlete in the world. She became the most in spring black woman athlete in the U.S. in the first half century winning the 1948 Olympic Games in London with a record high jump of 5 feet, 6-inches. In the process, she became the first black woman to win an Olympic Gold Medal. Her record stood for eight years. She went on to win 25 national championships from 1939-48, mostly in the high jump, but was also a four-year All-American in the 50-yard and 100-yard dashes. When her athletic career ended, she returned to Tuskegee to become a teacher where her accomplishments served as inspiration for her students.

Go Back | Send this page to a friend