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Willye White

Inducted: 1981, athlete

Born: January 1, 1939 - Money, Mississippi

Long Jump - 6.55 m

The first woman to compete for the U.S. in five Olympics, Willye White was the top American long jumper during the 1960s. She was a sophomore in high school when she first appeared in Olympic competition at Melbourne in 1956, taking the silver medal. After enrolling at Tennessee State University under Hall of Fame coach Ed Temple, she appeared in the 1960 Olympics, but failed to make the long jump final. Four years later, she won a silver medal in the 4x100m relay after a 12th in the long jump. She was 11th in the long jump in 1968 and 1972, her other two Olympic appearances. She competed in three Pan-American Games, finishing third in 1959, first in 1963, and third in 1967. A veteran of 34 international teams (including 11 consecutive years of competing in the USA-USSR dual meet), White won a dozen National AAU long jump titles, 11 outdoors. She also set the national long jump record on seven occasions. A member of the Black Sports Hall of Fame and the Women's Sports Foundation Hall of Fame, she established the Willye White Foundation in 1991 to help young girls develop self-esteem and become more productive citizens within their communities.

1956 Olympics: Long Jump (2nd)
1964 Olympics: Long Jump (12th)
1964 Olympics: 400 m relay (2nd)
1968 Olympics: Long Jump (11th)
1972 Olympics: Long Jump (11th)
1959 Pan-Am Games: Long Jump (3rd)
1963 Pan-Am Games: Long Jump (1st)
1967 Pan-Am Games: Long Jump (3rd)

undergraduate: Tennessee State (Nashville, Tennessee), 1959


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