Eldridge Eatman-The (Joint) Fastest Man in the World
Eldridge Eatman was a world-record setting African-Canadian sprinter who was born in Fredericton, New Brunswick on the east coast of Canada, in 1882. He spent most of his life in New Brunswick, and sprinted professionally worldwide in the early 1900s, at a time when few black people were able to participate in professional sports.
He won two World Championships in 1903 and then 1906, and he was recognized in 1905 as the co-holder of the fastest time in the world, over 100 yards that year. This made him, for a time, the joint fastest man in the world.
Unable to join the army in Canada, Eldridge, along with his running coach, sailed to England and Eldridge the athlete, became Private 17289 Eatman of the 3rd Battalion the Northumberland Fusiliers. The Battalion was sent to France where it became the 149th Brigade of the 50th Division of the Territorial Force, engaged in actions on the Western Front, including the Battle of the Somme. After The War he returned home where he worked as a professional musician and continued his athletic achievements, later taking up marathon running. He was inducted into the Saint John Sports Hall of Fame in 2002 and the New Brunswick Sports Hall of Fame in 2016. He died in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1960, aged 80.
Information and Images Credit: The Canadian Press