Name: Tommie Smith
Sport: Track and Field
Discipline(s): Track and Field
Event(s): 200-meter
DOB: 6/6/1944
Birthplace: Clarksville, Texas
Hometown: Clarksville, Texas
High School: Lemoore High School
College: San Jose State University
Olympic Experience
  • Olympian (1968); Olympic medalist (1 gold)
  • Mexico City 1968, gold (200-meter)
Personal: Born in Clarksville, Texas…Seventh of twelve children…Suffered pneumonia as a child…Attended Lemoore High School in Lemoore California, setting multiple school track records…Won 440-yard dash in the 1963 CIP California State Meet…Voted Lemoore’s MVP in basketball, football, and track and field…Received scholarship to run track and field at San Jose State University where he set seven individual world records and earned his BA in Social Science…won NCAA Men’s Outdoor Track and Field Championship in 1966 and 220-yard title in 1967… Raised black-gloved fist at the 1968 Olympic Games in Mexico City after winning gold in the 200-meter to symbolize African-American poverty in the United States…Drafted ninth round in the 1967 NFL Draft to Los Angeles Rams…Signed to play for the American Football League’s Cincinnati Bengals…Earned a masters in Social Change from Goddard College…Member of the United States National Track and Field Hall of Fame in 1978…Inducted into the California Black Sports Hall of Fame in 1996...In 2000 and 2001 County of Los Angeles and the state of Texas presented Smith with commendation, recognition and proclamation awards…Received the Courage of Conscience Award from The Peace Abbey…Track coach and sociology professor at Oberlin College in Ohio at the time of induction…Temple University Press published autobiography titled, “Silent Gesture” in 2007…Awarded the Presidential Award for Activism in 2013 from Goddard College… Accepted the Arthur Ashe Award for Courage at the 2008 ESPY Awards and was recognized at the White House by President Obama in 2016.