INDIANAPOLIS -- Eleanor Montgomery, women’s track & field pioneer and beloved Tigerbelle, died Saturday, December 28 in Cleveland, Ohio.
Montgomery, a native of Cleveland, gained national and international attention as a high jumper for the world-renowned Tennessee State University Tigerbelles. As a collegian, she won 13 AAU Indoor and Outdoor and USA Outdoor titles.
She appeared at back-to-back Pan American Games, winning gold and setting a meet record at the 1963 event. Montgomery also set American indoor and outdoor records a total of six times from 1967-69.
Montgomery competed in the Tokyo 1964 and Mexico 1968 Olympic Games, and she held her place as second in the world in 1967.
Nine years later, she was inducted with the Greater Cleveland Hall of Fame class of 1976, and was named to the USATF Hall of Fame just 20 days before her passing.
Despite not having any children of her own, she earned many sons, daughters, nieces and nephews through her involvement in numerous youth programs and activities.
Montgomery’s life was celebrated during a two-hour memorial service held Jan. 3 at Mt. Olive Baptist Church in her hometown of Cleveland. Eleanor's parents Rev. and Mrs. Lucious Montgomery preceded her in death. Eleanor, two time Olympian, was the beloved sister of Jessie Williams, Esther Lofton (Spurgeon), Kathy Robinson (Alvin), Robert Montgomery (Gloria), William (deceased) Harriet Montgomery and Keith Montgomery (Sandra).
Click here to read Tim Warsinskey's article on the life and legacy of Eleanor Montgomery as published inThe Plain Dealer, a Northeastern Ohio newspaper.