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Sat, 06.28.1890

Howard Drew, Athlete, and Politician born

Howard P. Drew,
1912 Olympics

Howard Drew was born on this date in 1890. He was a Black track and field athlete, and lawyer, and judge.

He was born in Lexington, KY, the son of David Drew, a Baptist minister. Around the age of ten, he and his family moved and settled in Springfield, MA. Drew won his first track meet with homemade shorts and non-spike shoes.  From there he made his first pair of track shoes by driving six nails through his regular shoes and using leather pieces to protect his feet.

He then ran two races, winning both; the first with the shoes and the second without. Upon reaching the upper grades in high school, Drew had a national reputation as a sprinter and had tied many world records. In the team competition, he often would have more points individually than other teams.  He set world records in the 45, 50, 70, 90, 120, and 220-yard dashes.

World War I changed his athletic and academic pursuits. Drew enlisted and became a sergeant in the Supply Company, 809th Pioneer Infantry Regiment, and the Eighty-Eight Division of the U.S. Army.  While there he ran and coached the Army track teams in Nice, France.  After the war, Drew finished law school at Drake University; he passed the Connecticut State Bar exam in 1920.  He married Dora Helen Newcomb and together they had two children, Howard Jr, and Jean.

Drew became an assistant clerk and a judge in the city of Hartford and was elected to the justice of the peace several times during the 1940s.  All of these positions were firsts for a Black man in the state of Connecticut.  Howard Drew died in February 1957.

To Become a Lawyer

To become a Judge



Howard P. Drew Jr.
Black Sports The Magazine
P.O. Box 44577
Washington, D.C. 20040

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