On this day in Alabama history: Olympian was born

On this day in Alabama history: Olympian was born
Otis Davis during the 1960 Olympic games. (Henk Lindeboom, Netherlands National Archives, Wikipedia)

July 12, 1932

Otis Crandall Davis was born in Tuscaloosa on this day in 1932. As an adult, he served four years in the Air Force, then accepted a scholarship to play basketball at the University of Oregon, where he also joined the track team with Nike’s future founder Phil Knight. Davis excelled in the 220- and 440-yard races, setting Oregon records and winning the AAU national championship. In 1960, he qualified for the Summer Olympic Games in Rome. Davis faced undefeated world champion Carl Kaufmann of Germany, beating him in the 400-meter race and setting a world record of 44.9 seconds. Davis won his second gold medal by beating Kaufmann again as the anchor of the U.S. 4×400-meter relay team.

Read more at Encyclopedia of Alabama.

For more on Alabama’s Bicentennial, visit Alabama 200.

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