‘Go Herb!' Oldest African-American Olympian Still Smiling at 94

"Go Herb! Go Herb!"

Herb Douglas is used to people cheering his name, so when he danced on stage at his 90th birthday party, the former Olympian wasn’t uncomfortable having all eyes on him.

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania native Herbert P. Douglas Jr. made his debut at the 1948 London Olympics. The long-jumper brought home a bronze medal. Just a day before, Douglas injured his ankle.

"I was going to stand on that podium if it took my life," Douglas said.

That wasn’t the end for Douglas, though. He didn’t stop training, he didn’t stop attending The Olympics. Now 94, Douglas, living in the Philadelphia region as the oldest African-American medalist, still swims to keep himself fit.

"I would swim every day if I could, but I can’t anymore," Douglas said, still smiling.

Douglas co-produced "The Renaissance Period of the African American in Sports," a film showcasing African American athletes and their journeys to their medals.

"People just feel good about being around Herb," a friend said. "I think he gives a good example."

Contact Us