Tennessee State

Ralph Boston, Olympic Gold Medalist, passes away

The hero from the 1960 Olympics has gone to glory.

NASHVILLE —  Tennessee State University regrets to announce the passing of Ralph Boston, an Olympic gold medalist and legendary figure in the world of track and field. Boston, who graduated from TSU, made history by breaking the 27-foot barrier in the long jump and winning three Olympic medals including gold at the 1960 Rome Games. He was also recognized as a World Athlete of the Year and as the North American Athlete of the Year during his career.

While attending TSU, Ralph Boston won the 1960 National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) title in the long jump. Later that same year, he broke Jesse Owens’ long jump record, which had stood for 25 years. Over the following years, Boston broke the record five more times and won four Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) national championships in the long jump between Olympic Games.

In addition to his athletic accomplishments, Boston made significant contributions to the world of sports through his work as a consultant to the U.S. Olympic team and as a sportscaster for ESPN. He also enjoyed success in the corporate world and received the NCAA Silver Anniversary Award in 1985 for college athletes who achieved success in other areas.

Boston’s achievements have been recognized by his induction into six Hall of Fames, including the U.S. Track and Field Hall of Fame, the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame, and the Tennessee State University Athletics Hall of Fame. The TSU Wellness Center also bears his name. Despite his many successes, Boston remained humble and devoted to giving back to his community.

Ralph Boston, Olympic Gold Medalist, passes away
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