Published on July 3, 2012 by Amy
Born: July 25, 1914
Died: December 31, 1994
Tribe: Creek, Blackfoot, Cherokee
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Woodrow Wilson Woolwine “Woody” Strode was a decathlete and football star who went on to become a pioneering black American film actor. He was nominated for a Golden Globe award for best supporting actor for his role in Spartacus in 1960. He served in the US Army during World War II.
Strode was born in Los Angeles, California. He attended college at UCLA, where he was a member of Alpha Phi Alpha, the first African American intercollegiate Greek-letter organization. His world-class decathlon capabilities were spearheaded by a 50 ft (15 m) plus shot put (when the world record was 57 ft (17 m)) and a 6 ft 4 in (1.93 m) high jump (the world record at time was 6 ft 10 in (2.08 m)). Strode posed for a nude portrait, part of Hubert Stowitts’s acclaimed exhibition of athletic portraits shown at the 1936 Berlin Olympics (although the inclusion of black and Jewish athletes caused the Nazis to close the exhibit) .