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       Charles Dumas sent a shock through the track and field world on June 29,1956 ,when he became the first person to jump seven feet. His clearance of 7′ 0 1/2″ at the Olympic Trials broke a major human barrier. A straddler with a very smooth technique, Dumas went on to win the gold medal in the event with an Olympic record of 6′ 11 1/4″. From 1955 to 1959, Dumas won or shared five-straight national high jump titles and was ranked first in the world twice during that period. In 1959, he captured the gold medal at the Pan American Games. Also an excellent hurdler (he ranked ?? in 1958), Dumas starred at both Compton Junior College and the University of Southern California. After finishing sixth at the 1960 Olympic Games, he made a comeback in 1964, cleared 7′ 0 1/4″ and ranked sixth in the nation. But after failing to make the 1964 Olympic team, he retired and later became a teacher.

Records Held

World Record: High Jump – 2.15 m (June 29, 1956 – )

Olympic Record: High Jump – 2.11 m


1956 Olympics: High Jump – 2.11 m (1st)

1960 Olympics: High Jump (6th)

1955 AAU: High Jump (1st)

1956 AAU: High Jump (1st)

1957 AAU: High Jump (1st)

1958 AAU: High Jump (1st)

1959 AAU: High Jump (1st)

1959 Pan-Am Games: High Jump (1st)