Tuskegee flags at half-staff to honor Alice Coachman-Davis - WSFA.com Montgomery Alabama news.

Tuskegee flags at half-staff to honor Alice Coachman-Davis

(Source: MGN Online) (Source: MGN Online)
(Source: WALB) (Source: WALB)
TUSKEGEE, AL (WSFA) -

Flags are flying at half-staff Tuesday in Tuskegee in honor of Alice Coachman-Davis, said Mayor Johnny Ford.

Davis, a former teacher and resident of Tuskegee, died Monday after suffering a stroke in April.

At Tuskegee University Coachman-Davis became known for her skills as a track and field athlete. She competed in and won her first Amateur Athletic Union Championship in the high jump all before she had even began classes.

After dominating the competition for the next several years, Coachman-Davis qualified for three Olympic games: 1940, 1944 and 1948. She was unable to compete in the first two because of World War II but was able to attend the 1948 games in London.

At the games Coachman-Davis won gold in the high jump, despite nursing a back injury. Coachman set a record in the high jump with a mark of 5 feet, 6 1/8 inches, making her the first black woman to win an Olympic gold medal.

"I didn't know I'd won," Coachman later said. "I was on my way to receive the medal and I saw my name on the board. And, of course, I glanced over into the stands where my coach was and she was clapping her hands."

In 1975, she was inducted into the National Track and Field Hall of Fame. She was also inducted into the Black Athletes Hall of Fame, Bob Douglas Hall of Fame, Helm's Hall of Fame, the Georgia State Hall of Fame and the Tuskegee Hall of Fame.

In 1952, Coachman became the first black female athletic champion to sign a product endorsement for a multinational corporation, Coca-Cola. She later married Frank A. Davis and became the mother of two children. 

Copyright 2014 WSFA 12 News.  All rights reserved.

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