By the turn of the century, African Americans did find sports success in some disciplines. But in the sport of wrestling, another 80 years would pass before a black athlete stood atop the podium in Seoul with the gleaming gold medal around his neck. It wasn’t until 1949 that a black athlete is known to have wrestled in the NCAA championships.
Art Baker of Erie Academy becomes first African-American to win a Pennsylvania state high school championship.
Ludie Graddy of John Adams High School becomes first African-American to win an Ohio state high school championship.
Bobby Douglas of Bridgeport becomes second African-American to win an Ohio state high school championship.
Ken Moore and Houston Antwine of SIU-Carbondale become first African-Americans to win NAIA championships.
Hallow Wilson wins first AAU championship at heavyweight in Greco-Roman.
Rudy Williams and Hallow Wilson wrestle for the United States at the world championships.
Don Benning becomes the head coach at Nebraska-Omaha.
Don Benning coaches Nebraska-Omaha to an NAIA team championship.
Rae McDonald of University of Mount Union, Charles Beck of John Carroll University and Elijah Whitten of Ashland University become the first African-Americans to earn NCAA Division III All-American honors. McDonald and Becks finished second at 134 pounds and 150 pounds, respectively, while Whitten finished sixth. A year later, McDonald became the first African-American to become a two-time DIII All-American.
Fletcher Carr of Kentucky becomes the first coach with a Division I All-American.
T.J. and Joe Williams become the first brothers to win NCAA championships.
Toccara Montgomery becomes the first African-American woman to win a medal at the World Championships with a silver medal.
Leroy Kemp, who won 3 World Championships, is inducted into the United World Wrestling Hall of Fame.
Kamal Bey wins gold medal in Greco-Roman at Junior World Championships, becoming first Greco-Roman Junior World title for the United States in 18 years.
Jordan Burroughs wins his fourth World title and helps United States win first World Championship team title since 1995. Burroughs five gold medals – World in 2011, 2013, 2015 and 2017 and Olympic in 2016 – tie him with Bruce Baumgartner for second in USA Wrestling standings behind John Smith’s six gold medals.
Tamyra Mensah-Stock becomes the first American, male or female, to win back-to-back gold medals at the Ivan Yarygin Grand Prix.
Jordan Burroughs wins bronze medal at 2018 World Championships. Burroughs has an Olympic gold medal, four World championships and two World bronze medals.