Ralph Metcalfe achieved worldwide fame as an Olympic athlete years before he became involved in politics on Chicago’s South Side. From left: State Representative Larry Bullock, Metcalfe Jr., and State Senator Charles Chew. Metcalfe was convinced to the end of his life that the 100 m should have been awarded as a tie between him and Eddie Tolan: "I have never been convinced I was defeated.
Ralph Metcalfe, was an outstanding U.S. sprinter, track coach, and politican born in Atlanta, Georgia and raised in Chicago, Illinois. It should have been a tie" Film evidence and that of observers of the race seem to support Metcalfe's verdict.
Metcalfe, Ralph H., Jr. | Bullock, Larry, born 1946 | Chew, Charles, 1922-1986 | Politicians, University of Chicago Library, Special Collections Research Center. They maintain the result stands because the judges decided in line with the rules at the time that Eddie Tolan's entire torso had passed the finish line on the ground before Metcalfe's.  At the 1932 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles, he virtually dead-heated with his rival Eddie Tolan, with the gold medal awarded to Tolan only after extended study of the photograph; both recorded a time of 10.38 seconds in the 100 meters. Ralph Harold Metcalfe Sr. (May 29, 1910 – October 10, 1978) was an American track and field sprinter and politician. Washington: Government Printing Office, 2008. 2 As a child, he moved with his family to the South Side of Chicago. p. 500. Ralph Metcalfe,” 11 October 1978, Chicago Tribune: D2. Arrangements were made by the Laird funeral Home, Elgin, (847)741-8800. During Metcalfe’s years as a student at Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin from 1932 through 1934, he was arguably the world’s fastest human. IAAF Athletics. Metcalfe’s willingness to risk his political career to follow his conscience won him loyal support among the majority of his constituents and his black colleagues in the House. He drafted provisions to the Railroad Revitalization and Regulatory Reform Act to combat discrimination in the industry present more than a decade after the passage of the landmark Civil Rights Act of 1964.13 Concerned about the quality of health care for minorities, the Illinois Representative criticized the Richard M. Nixon administration for failing to support legislation aimed at improving health services for those most in need and exhorted his House colleagues to “design a health care package which adequately meets the needs and aspirations of poor and minority groups.”14 Drawing on his own athletic experience, Metcalfe cosponsored the Amateur Sports Act of 1978, which provided federal funding for American Olympic athletes and increased opportunities for minorities, women, and disabled Americans to participate in amateur sports.15, Although his legislative agenda focused heavily on domestic issues, Metcalfe had an interest in U.S. foreign policy. 23Barbara Reynolds, “Metcalfe Victory Seen as Freedom From Daley,” 17 March 1976, Chicago Tribune: 3; Reynolds, “Track Star Metcalfe Running Hard”; Vernon Jarrett, “France Has Bitter Taste of Politics,” 9 April 1976, Chicago Tribune: A4; “5 Congressmen Here to Aid Rep. Metcalfe,” 15 February 1976, Chicago Tribune: 20. Observers at the time claimed the marking for his starting holes were 3–4 feet behind where they should have been.
They were a … 5Dorothy Collin, “Jesse Owens Recalls a Beloved Teammate,” 11 October 1978, Chicago Tribune: 1. Metcalfe was a co-founder of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) in 1971 and later was noted for breaking ranks with Chicago mayor Richard Daley after incidents of police brutality. Subject Terms Copyright © 1997 - 2020 Black Facts. (6 December 1973): 39929–39930; Christopher, Black Americans in Congress: 264. After earning his bachelor's degree at Marquette in 1936, Metcalfe completed a master's degree at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles in 1939. Mr. Metcalfe also earned a Bronze medal in the 1932 Games, and a Gold in the 1936 Games for the 4x100 relay. After becoming an alderman in 1955, he was later selected by Daley to serve as president pro tempore of the Chicago city council.7 When the powerful but aging Representative William L. Dawson, a longtime member of the Democratic machine, decided to retire from the House, he chose Metcalfe to replace him in Congress. 15Congressional Record, House, 95th Cong., 2nd sess. Metcalfe praised the recommendations of the Organization of African Unity (OAU) for the South African region, which included ending apartheid in South Africa and instituting majority rule in Rhodesia. 14Congressional Record, House, 93rd Cong., 1st sess. Perhaps Metcalfe’s most interesting moments in track were not his wins but his virtual dead heat second place finishes in the 100 meter dash at the 1932 and 1936 Summer Olympics at Los Angeles, California and Berlin, Germany to rivals Eddie Tolan and Jesse Owens, respectively. Metcalfe married Madalynne Fay Young in 1947 and they had one son. Note 1: In 1888 both the NAAAA and the AAU held championships. In the Democratic primary, Metcalfe faced A. From left: State Representative Larry Bullock, Metcalfe Jr., and State Senator Charles Chew.
(26 February 1975): 4491; Christopher, Black Americans in Congress: 265. 1“Ralph Harold Metcalfe,” 14 October 1978, Washington Post: A16. During World War II he joined the armed forces and fought to end Jim Crow segregation in America and end fascism abroad, better known as the Double-V movement. "Ralph Harold Metcalfe" in Black Americans in Congress, 1870-2007. (20 May 1974): 15592. View Record in the Biographical Directory of the U.S. Congress. Throughout Metcalfe’s amateur track career he held the 100 meter dash record at 10.30 in 1934, tying it at least eight times, and he also tied the 200 meter dash world record of 20.6 seconds.  In addition, even though credited with same time as Tolan, 10.3 s, a time that equaled the then world record, Metcalfe's time was never ratified as a world record. Citizens Look at Congress: Ralph H. Metcalfe, Democratic Representative from Illinois. Metcalfe taught political science and coached track at Xavier University in New Orleans, and served in the transportation corps of U.S. Army in World War II, rising to the rank of first lieutenant and awarded the Legion of Merit medal. BlackPast.org is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization. 26The Chicago Tribune printed an article based on a speech by Metcalfe that outlined his goals for improvements in law enforcement in Chicago. W. Apple, Jr., “Black Leader’s Rebellion Is Hurting Daley Machine,” 10 May 1972, New York Times: 36; Nathaniel Sheppard, Jr., “19 Seeking House Seat Vacated by Chicago Mayor,” 8 July 1983, New York Times: A7. 20“Police Acts Create New Daley Critic,” 7 May 1972, Washington Post: A14. All Rights Reserved. 8Michael Kilian, “Daley Choices Win Key Tests,” 18 March 1970, Chicago Tribune: 1; Norman C. Miller, “A Primary in Chicago Between Two Blacks Is Big Test for Daley,” 24 February 1970, Wall Street Journal: 1.
For more information on the 1936 Olympics, see Alan Gould, “Metcalfe Runs Second to Ohio Negro in Sprint Finals,” 4 August 1936, Washington Post: X15; and Shirley Povich, “What Price Olympic Glory?—America’s Sports Public Demands,” 16 August 1936, Washington Post: B5. “This is a people’s victory,” the Chicago Representative declared.23 After reapportionment in 1972, the metropolitan district continued to boast a predominantly black population, even with the significant change in boundaries that included a largely white neighborhood surrounding the University of Chicago.
Throughout Metcalfe’s amateur track career he held the 100 meter dash record at 10.30 in 1934, tying it at least eight times, and he also tied the 200 meter dash world record of 20.6 seconds. He converted to Catholicism in 1932, while an undergraduate at Marquette.. History, Art & Archives, U.S. House of Representatives, “METCALFE, Ralph Harold,” https://history.house.gov/People/Listing/M/METCALFE,-Ralph-Harold-(M000675)/ 25“Ralph Metcalfe Is Dead at 68,” 11 October 1978, Los Angeles Times: E11. 2David L. Porter, “Metcalfe, Ralph Harold,” American National Biography 15 (New York: Oxford University Press, 1999): 386 (hereinafter referred to as ANB).
The right of black people to choose their own public officials and not have them picked from downtown.”22 With the outspoken support of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC)—an organization Metcalfe helped found in 1971—he handily defeated Daley aide Erwin A. France with more than 70 percent of the vote in the bitterly contested primary. Held over 55 meters from 1987–90. Outraged by what he perceived as Daley’s lenient stance on police brutality in the black community—specifically with regard to a violent raid of the local Black Panthers and two incidents that involved the harassment of black dentists—Metcalfe declared, “the Mayor doesn’t understand what happens to black men on the streets of Chicago, and probably never will.”18 Metcalfe used his position on the Interstate and Foreign Commerce Committee to conduct public hearings for victims and witnesses of police brutality and organized a citizens’ group to lobby the city government for reforms.19 “I’ve always spoken out for my people—for what I believe but in the past I’ve tried to remedy situations on a case–by–case basis, trying to work within the party or official government circles,” Metcalfe said. Ralph R. Metcalfe Jr. Ralph R. Metcalfe Jr., 79, of Long Beach, Calif., passed away Sunday, Aug. 17. During World War II he joined the armed forces and fought to end Jim Crow segregation in America and end fascism abroad, better known as the Double-V movement. However, only 5 of these were ever officially ratified by the athletics governing body, the, After earning his bachelor's degree at Marquette in 1936, Metcalfe completed a, In 1955, Metcalfe won the first of four elections as an, Metcalfe married Madalynne Fay Young in 1947 and they had one son. “I was told by my coach that as a black person I’d have to put daylight between me and my nearest competitor,” Metcalfe recalled. Read More It should have been a tie".
Login to BlackFacts.com using your favorite Social Media Login. Metcalfe 16 times broke or equaled world record times at various distances.
Using his experience as chairman of the Chicago city council’s housing committee, Metcalfe introduced legislation to increase the availability of home improvement loans and federal housing programs to benefit the many impoverished people living in his district.
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