Herb Douglas, who won a bronze medal in the long jump at the 1948 Summer Olympics, has died at 101 years old. The University of Pittsburgh, where Douglas played football and ran track, revealed that he died on Saturday.
"In every role that he filled, as an aspiring athlete from Hazelwood, Pa. as a student-athlete and University trustee and as an esteemed businessman, Olympian and community leader, Herb Douglas excelled," Pittsburgh Chancellor Patrick Gallagher said in a statement. "He was both a champion himself and a champion of others, never hesitating to open doors of opportunity and help people pursue their own success."
Douglas was the oldest living United States Olympic medalist.
Douglas graduated from the University of Pittsburgh in 1948 with a bachelor's degree in physical education. Shortly after graduation, the Pittsburgh native earned a bronze medal in the long jump in the 1948 Summer Olympics in London.
He wanted to participate in the 1944 Olympics, but those Summer Games were canceled due to World War II. Douglas began his collegiate career at Xavier University in New Orleans before returning home to Pittsburgh to attend the city's flagship university.
Once he enrolled at Pittsburgh in 1945, Douglas became one of the first African Americans to play football at the school in addition to competing on the track team. During his time at Pittsburgh, Douglas won four intercollegiate championships in the long jump as well as one in the 100-yard dash. Douglas finished as the runner-up to Willie Steele in the Olympic trials and in doing so, earned his spot on the 1948 United States Olympic team.
In the 1948 Summer Games, Douglas turned in a leap of 24-feet-9 inches behind Steele and silver medalist Thomas Bruce (Australia).
Douglas worked in marketing and sales throughout his life. He began at Pabst Brewing Co. before moving to Philadelphia to work for Schieffelin and Co., which was an import company. Douglas later became vice president and was among the first African Americans to reach a position of that stature.