Alice Coachman, First Black Female Olympic Champion, Dies at 90

Alice_Coachman_597x400(AP Photo, File)

By Max Meyer

Alice Coachman, the first black woman to win an Olympic gold medal, died Monday morning. She passed away at an Albany hospital in Georgia, a few months after suffering a stroke in April. She was 90 years old.

Coachman won her Olympic gold medal in the high jump at the 1948 Olympic Games in London. She set an Olympic record with a jump that measured 5 feet, 6.25 inches. She was the only American woman to win an Olympic gold medal in athletics that year.

Although she did not sprint in the Olympics, she won collegiate national championships in the 50m, 100m and 400m relay at Tuskegee University. She finished her degree at Albany State College after the London Games.

Coachman also made history in the advertising industry, as she was the first black female athlete to ever endorse an international product, doing so with Coca-Cola in 1952.

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