George Poage: The First African-American Olympic Medalist


By Maureen McCollum | February 10, 2014

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George Poage moved to La Crosse as a young child in 1884. Locally, he was known as a scholar and remarkable athlete. He went on become the first African-American on the UW-Madison track team. But his greatest triumph came at the 1904 Olympics when he became the first African-American to medal in the 200m and 400m hurdles. WPR’s Maureen McCollum talked with UW-La Crosse retired special collections librarian Ed Hill about George Poage’s life as a student athlete in La Crosse.

Maureen McCollum

Maureen McCollum is the host and producer for Wisconsin Life on Wisconsin Public Radio. She loves live music, the bluffs along the Mississippi River, and eating too much cheese.
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