1908 John Taylor USA Olympic Runner Signed Real Photo Postcard--First Black Gold Medalist! His name may be familiar only to the most educated of early Olympics historians, but, to that demographic, this offering represents a true "Holy Grail." Twenty-eight years before Jesse Owens humiliated Adolf Hitler at the 1936 Berlin Games, this son of former slaves ran the 400m third leg of the Medley Relay at London as part of the victorious American team, becoming the first black man to claim Olympic Gold.

    But less than five months after his moment of glory atop the Olympic podium, Taylor would be claimed by the 1908 typhoid epidemic, honored as "the world's greatest negro runner" in his New York Times obituary.

    We have never encountered any other example of Taylor's signature, and it is quite possible that none other exists. Here he signs his 3.5x5.5" real photo postcard in 9/10 black fountain pen ink, adding his "U of P" alma mater as a notation. Taylor may not have the widespread public profile of Owens or Tommie Smith, but the importance of his brave, early service to athletic racial integration cannot be overstated. Note that this was one of dozens of signed photo postcards consigned to this auction--the balance appears in Lot 80546.

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    Auction Dates
    August, 2016
    27th-28th Saturday-Sunday
    Internet/Mail Bids: 6
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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