Born on June 3, 1944; Edith McGuire grew up in Atlanta, Georgia. She was a member of Tennessee State University’s legendary woman’s relay team in the 1960’s, The Tigerbelles, today she is celebrating her 70th Birthday!
Needless to say, Edith McGuire accomplished an insane amount within her seemingly short career. One of her biggest highlights is her undefeated streak in 1964. Her key event was the 200 m/220 y, where she won four of her six national titles. However, those national titles, as well as six AAU titles were not the peak of her career. As her 1964 streak continued it made its way to the 1964 Olympic Games in Tokyo!
Now McGuire was a key player in the Tigerbelle Movement.
In the 1960 Rome Olympics the women’s track team was stacked top to bottom with the most elite women runners from the powerhouse Tennessee State University. These fine ladies were known as “Tigerbelles” being coached by TSU’s Ed Temple.
These ladies dominated discrimination and the international field of competition. This was one of the first times in history African-American women were recognized as sports celebrities.
The Tigerbelle sensation was cheered all over Europe, but back home with the Civil Rights Movement in the Jim Crowe south. Things were about to boil over, Coach Temple and his Tigerbelles were relegated to second class citizenship. They went from celeberties, then back to zero.
The story of Tigerbelles, with their Coach Ed Temple overcame the indignities of racism, won gold in Rome 1960, success in the 1964 Games in Tokyo and dominated women’s track for 30 years while laying the groundwork for Title IX.