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Tue, 05.09.1939

Ralph Boston, Athlete, and Humanitarian born

Ralph Boston

Ralph Boston was born on this date in 1939 in Laurel MS. He was a former Black Olympic athlete and is a humanitarian, and businessman.

Ralph Harold Boston was the youngest of ten children. Ralph Boston earned a gold medal in the 1960 Rome Olympics, silver in the 1964 Tokyo Olympics, and bronze in the 1968 Mexico City Olympics. His specialty was the long jump, for which he set a world's record in 1960. From 1960 to 1967, Boston was ranked number one in the world in that event. He also was selected as “World Athlete of the Year” and as the “North American Athlete of the Year.”

He was elected into the Helms Hall of Fame in Los Angeles and was the first Black to be inducted into Mississippi's Sports Hall of Fame. Boston's life in corporate and civic life mirrors his Olympic career. After leaving the Olympic sports competition in 1968, he earned his master's degree from the University of Tennessee.  He served as a consultant to the U.S. Olympic team and as a sportscaster for ESPN before becoming a general partner in a Knoxville, Tennessee TV station.

Boston currently is director of customer relations for Ericsson, Inc. In 1985, Boston received the NCAA Silver Anniversary Award for college athletes who have gone on to become successful in other areas. He also has been inducted into the U.S. Track and Field Hall of Fame and the Olympic Hall of Fame, and recently was elected to the National Black College Alumni Hall of Fame.

The National Collegiate Athletic Association
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