Summary

Conflict Period:
World War II 1
Branch:
Army 1
Birth:
1910 1
Georgia 1
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Pictures & Records (11)

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Ralph Metcalfe
Ralph Metcalfe
1936 Olympics
1936 Olympics
Keeping warm in between events
Ralph Metcalfe and Eddie Tolan
Ralph Metcalfe and Eddie Tolan
1932 Olympics
1932 Olympics
Eddie Tolan, winner and creator of a new Olympic record in the 200-meter event, George Simpson of the United States, second place winner, and Ralph Metcalfe, also of the United States, third place winner (left to right) are seen here after the finish of the 200-meter event at the Los Angeles Olympiad
Ralph Metcalfe
Ralph Metcalfe
Ralph Metcalfe and Jesse Owens
Ralph Metcalfe and Jesse Owens
1936 Olympics
1936 Olympics
On the medal stand, Jesse Owens receiving the Gold and Ralph Metcalfe the Silver
478px-RalphHMetcalfe1977.jpg
478px-RalphHMetcalfe1977.jpg
Daley
Daley
Chicago Mayor Richard J. Daley (4th from left) with leading African American politicians, including Ralph Metcalfe (5th from left), Charles Chew (r) and Alderman Benjamin F. Lewis (3rd from left), who was murdered two days after being re-elected in 1963.
Ralph Metcalfe
Ralph Metcalfe
1936 Olympics
1936 Olympics
Berlin, 9 August 1936. Athletics, men's 4x100m relay. Gold medallists, Olympic and World record setting team members (L-R) Jesse OWENS, Ralph METCALFE, Foy DRAPER, Frank WYKOFF of the United States.

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Personal Details

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Person:
Ralph H Metcalfe 1
Level of Education: Post-graduate 1
Marital Status: Married 1
Birth:
1910 1
Georgia 1
Residence:
Place: Calhoun County, Alabama 1
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World War II 1

Branch:
Army 1
Enlistment Date:
11 Oct 1943 1
Army Branch:
No branch assignment 1
Army Component:
Selectees (Enlisted Men) 1
Army Serial Number:
39713230 1
Enlistment Place:
Los Angeles California 1
Enlistment Term:
Enlistment for the duration of the War or other emergency, plus six months, subject to the discretion of the President or otherwise according to law 1
Source of Army Personnel:
Civil Life 1
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Occupation:
Managers and officials, n.e.c. 1
Race or Ethnicity:
Negro 1
Source Information:
Box Number: 1465 1
Film Reel Number: 7.36 1

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Ralph H. Metcalfe Biography

Born in Atlanta, Ralph Metcalfe (1910–1978) was America’s leading sprinter from 1932-1934. During his sophomore year at Marquette, Metcalfe equaled the world record of 10.3 seconds in the 100 meter dash. He also matched the 200 meter world record of 20.6 seconds. He completed the 1932 intercollegiate season by winning the first of three NCAA championships, in both the 100- and 200-yard events. Later that summer Metcalfe competed in the 1932 Olympics in Los Angeles, racing to virtual tie with Eddie Tolan in the 100 meters. After an exhaustive review officials awarded the gold medal to Tolan and silver medal to Metcalfe. The Marquette sprinter also earned a bronze medal in the 200 meters at Los Angeles.

Over the next several years Metcalfe remained a world class runner, competing for Marquette in sprints between 40 yards and 220 meters. Young Metcalfe was also an accomplished student and a campus leader. In 1933 he was inducted into Alpha Sigma Nu, the elite Jesuit academic honor society. Metcalfe was also elected president of the Marquette University senior class. He graduated cum laude in 1936.

In 1936 Metcalfe qualified for his second Olympic team. Competing in Berlin, he earned his third and fourth Olympic medals: a silver medal in the 200 meters (0.1 second behind Jesse Owens) and a gold medal as part of the 4 x 100 relay team. During his career in track Metcalfe equaled or bettered 13 world records.

Returning from the Berlin Games, Metcalfe accepted a teaching and coaching position at Xavier University of New Orleans, eventually developing five national champions in track and field. Following military service in World War II, Ralph Metcalfe moved to Chicago and ran for elected office. He entered politics as a Chicago alderman, eventually rising to president pro tempore of the Chicago Common Council. In 1970 Metcalfe won the first of four successful campaigns for the U.S. House of Representatives, representing the Illinois' 1st congressional district. Rep. Metcalfe was a co-founder of the Congressional Black Caucus. He also introduced the Congressional resolution that officially established Black History Month. He died in 1978 at age sixty-eight.

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