1968 OLYMPIC GOLD MEDALIST (LONG JUMP)  •  OLYMPIC RECORD HOLDER (29 FT. 2.5 INCHES)  •  ESPN TOP 100 ATHLETES OF THE 20TH CENTURY  •  U.S. OLYMPIC HALL OF FAME MEMBER CLASS OF 1983  •  USA TRACK AND FIELD HALL OF FAME CLASS OF 1977
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Bob Beamon

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Personal Quotes
What ever you do, don't do it halfway.
Personal Info

Born On:  August 29, 1946
Hometown:  Jamaica, New York
Resides:  Chicago, IL
Education:  Adelphi 1972
Height:  6' 3

Biography

Defining the Highest Level of Achievement

No name is as synonymous with the Olympic long jump as Bob Beamon. Nearly a half-century after his otherworldly performance at the 1968 Mexico City Games, reporters still attach the label “Beamonesque” to great exploits in all sports. Born in South Jamaica, Queens, New York, Beamon lost his mother to tuberculosis as an infant. Surrounded by a world of drugs and violence, Beamon became engulfed by the culture of the time. By the age of fourteen he was rarely at school and involved in gang life, eventually becoming a gang leader. With the help of positive goals developed through sports, Beamon turned his life around.?

A Junior Olympic and New York state record holder on the track, Beamon made the shift from hanging out on the corner to attending college. After beginning his NCAA career at North Carolina A&T, he transferred to the emerging track powerhouse program at the University of Texas El-Paso. While competing at UTEP, Beamon proved to be a man of unparalleled principle. As a college student at the time of the civil rights movement, Beamon and fellow African-Americans boycotted a track meet held by a university with insensitive racial practices. His decision had major repercussions, costing him his scholarship and coach mere months before the Olympic Trials.  

At those Trials, it briefly looked like Beamon would never have a chance to jump into history when he fouled on his first two attempts. After gathering his composure, he showed the skill and poise that had led him to 22 wins in his 23 events that year and earned his Olympic berth. Nothing less than gold was expected of Beamon in Mexico City and his jump was nothing short of miraculous. Just 22 years old, he landed a jump of 29 ft. 2 inches, destroying the existing world record by 1.8 feet. His Olympic record still stands today, nearly a half-century later.

The legendary Olympian has translated his athletic success into a career of positively impacting others’ lives, traveling the world giving motivational and educational talks to universities and business that focus on overcoming obstacles and a will towards greatness. Media outlets across the country have covered Beamon’s timeless jump decades after the event. Legendary sports writer Dick Schaap wrote a book entitled The Perfect Jump. Since leaving the track, Beamon has continued to excel in life.

Following his uncharted success, he went back to school to complete his degree, graduating from Adelphi University in 1972 with a degree in Sociology. Now, Beamon takes lessons from his own life to positively affect American youth. In 1997, he developed the Bob Beamon Organization for Youth, which has raised over two million dollars for disadvantaged scholar athletes. As a diabetic he continues to promote a healthy lifestyle to others by eating right and exercising regularly.