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ALBRITTON, DAVID

ALBRITTON, DAVID (13 April 1913-14 May 1994) made his marks as a high jumper in the Olympic Games and as a pioneering African American in the Ohio General Assembly. He was born in Danville, Ala., which was also the hometown of JESSIE OWENS, the son of Peter and Josephine Albritton. Like Owens, Albritton was raised in Cleveland and became a track star at EAST TECHNICAL HIGH SCHOOL. He also accompanied Owens to Ohio State University and the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin. During tryouts for the latter he and teammate Cornelius Johnson tied for a world record of 6'-91/2" in the high jump. In Berlin, however, Albritton finished 2nd to Johnson for a silver medal. In the early 1940s he became an industrial arts teacher and athletic coach at Dunbar High School in Dayton, O. His teams won 3 state titles, and Albritton himself won or tied for 7 AAU outdoor titles in a personal track career lasting until 1950. From 1954 to 1957, Albritton worked for the U.S. State Dept., setting up athletic programs in Iran, Iraq, Pakistan, and Turkey. He also operated an insurance agency in Dayton, and in 1960 won election as a Republican to the Ohio House of Representatives. Named to chair the House Interstate Cooperation Committee in 1969, Albritton was the first African American in Ohio history to head a House committee. He was a member of the National Track and Field Hall of Fame, the Ohio Sport Hall of Fame, and the Ohio State Athletic Hall of Fame. Albritton married Margaret Ann Holliday in 1937. He died in Dayton survived by a son, David II.