Mass Mutual and NewsOne join together to present 28 dynamic people that make up the diverse tapestry of Black History. For the entire month of February, Black History Month, we will feature one Person of the Day and highlight their lives and achievements.
Jackie Joyner-Kersee (pictured) made her mark as an athlete, becoming the first American to win an Olympic gold medal in the long jump event. She also stands as the first woman to earn more than 7,000 points in the epic heptathlon event. The track and field star also used her fame to found the Jackie Joyner-Kersee Foundation dedicated in promoting athletics among underprivileged youth.
Joyner-Kersee was born in East St. Louis, Ill., on March 3, 1962. An exceptional high school athlete, she excelled in track and field, volleyball, and basketball, although it would be the long jump event that would become her strongest event. After breaking an Illinois record in the event, Joyner-Kersee set her sights on Olympic gold.
As a student at UCLA, Joyner-Kersee continued to star in track and field and basketball but turned her focus on the heptathlon in her junior year for the 1984 Summer Olympics. Joyner-Kersee would receive the first of her six Olympic medals during the Summer Games, winning a Silver in the heptathlon event. Joyner-Kersee also owns three Gold and two Bronze medals across the long jump and heptathlon events.
After officially retiring from sports in 2001 at the age of 38, Joyner-Kersee opened her foundation in her hometown. Her story in overcoming poverty and discrimination no doubt serves as a necessary teaching tool for the young people her foundation serves.
Joyner-Kersee is also one of the founders of the Athletes for Hope organization alongside former NBA star Alonzo Mourning, Muhammad Ali, former NFL player Warrick Dunn, and former tennis star Andre Agassi. Athletes for Hope puts a strong emphasis on academics along with promoting athletics and gives current and former athletes opportunities to give back to their communities.
Joyner-Kersee has been married to her former track coach, Bob Kersee, since 1986. Joyner-Kersee, who suffers from exercise-induced asthma, has been a spokesperson and advocate for asthma research for some time now as well.
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This Week’s Celebrity Instagrams (6/18-6/24)
25 photos Launch gallery
1. Me & the homie @jaleelwhite #RujohnFoundation Happy to be in Jamaica! Good times
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5. Good Morning. Early day in Detroit! Making press rounds for @thebossnetwork's Ladies That Lead Tour. Thank you @traycemadre and @colourbynumbr for my glam.
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6. POWER the best show on TV @djenvy, Queens we so big out here. #EFFENVODKA #FRIGO
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7. They said u lost a step, wasn't explosive as once was, the best days was in the real view, questioned your drive, your leadership, your commitment, you don't have killer instinct, going back home is the worst mistake in your career, he got the coach fired, players traded, won't work between him and Kyrie, Him and Kev won't work, love your teammates to much, there's no way he can deliver a championship in his hometown, etc etc etc.... But guess what THATS NONE OF MY BUSINESS #StriveForGreatness #ThisOneIsForTheLand #PutSomeRespeckOnMyName Hahahaha!!! Yes sir
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8. Oooooh weeee this man right here is responsible for at least three of our four babies!! #JOE ❤❤❤🎤 #rnb #king #voicelikebutter #ForPeetesSake
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9. Hanging with my @abcnetwork family! @abcunclebuck tonite y'all check us out ! @anthonyanderson @traceeellisross
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10. My broski ( @sayeedshahidi ) and I are on Top 5 Live on @go90 at 5 (which is super duper close)! Make sure to tune in :) #UncleBuck #Blackish
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11. Lights out💤 #GoodNight
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12. Late nights mornings
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13. Ran into the lovely talented @siedahgarrett on this brutiful favvuz deh!
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14. #halal #love #thedargans #kattwilliamsSHOW #mashallah when that Jennah piece HIT!! @sweetjennahcollection glasses by @baddieglamaccessories LIZ 😍 @dynamiteko top @dazzledmv and jeans @thevision414 and shoes: @louboutinworld
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15. Big Hair and Optical Illusions #OceanDrive #MiamiLiving #coverparty
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16. MAMA and THE SAVAGES ... ⚓️ #supportyourlocalgirlgang
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17. From the bottom of my ❤️, thank you new followers & old! & hello fellow night owls! #grateful #racheltrue #naturalhair #curlyhair #curlygirl #healthyhair
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18. I feel so grateful because I met these amazing young minds, visiting from Houston TX, during their college tour stop today at #usc.These students are ALL extraordinary and embody academic excellence so I'm humbled to have shared a few moments with them to applaud and celebrate their bright futures ahead! Thank you @EmergeFellows for inviting me to speak and blessing me with your love and attention this afternoon!
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19. Happy Fathers Day Pops. U taught me how to be a man. Lessons of love, hard work & gratefulness. Sorry the fishing didn't stick. LOL. I Love U!
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20. Sky Zone and Ice Cream! Best Fathers Day Ever!! Photo credit @mariahcarey
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21. Look what finally came in the mail 😎 #mtvmovieawards2016 💥+🌽! #straightouttacompton
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22. Claudia Jordan: ....
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23. 'Member that time I almost knocked a bajillion dollar camera off the car? Really? Yeah, me neither! #Greenleaf Episode 2 comin atcha!
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24. Full of love. #birthday #Cabo
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25. Oh hey! Look who just joined Snapchat
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