1968 remains arguable the most historic year in modern American history. Leaders such as Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert F. Kennedy were both assassinated. The first 747 Jumbo Jet was and introduced and with the Apollo 8 mission, for the first time in history humans orbited the Moon. The 1968 Olympic Games in Mexico City also produced history. At just 22 years old, Bob Beamon landed a jump of 29’2 1/2” destroying the existing world and Olympic record by 1.8’. While other events in 1968 have faded into the pages of history books, Bob Beamon’s record still stands 50 years later, more than a half a century. October 2018 will be spearheaded by multiple activities and celebrations of this historic accomplished Golden Anniversary.
Bob’s story does not start or end with this historic jump. His story actually starts in South Jamaica Queens, New York. He has told the story many times of making the transition from hanging out on the corner to attending college. Athletics was the catalyst that fueled this transition. Bob was a New York state record holder and Junior Olympian. He won the 1965 National High School Triple Jump and High Jump awards. In 1967, he won the Indoor AAU Long Jump Championship as well as the Silver Medal at the Pan American Games Outdoor Long Jump Championships. The year of the 1968 Olympics, Bob had 22 wins in 23 events, which landed him a spot in the Olympics. Reports today still attach the word Beamonesque to describe great exploits in all sports.
Just like the fact that the Olympics did not start the story, nor does the story end with his athletic gifts and accomplishments. As the Associate Commissioner of Parks in Miami-Dade County, Bob Beamon along with actor Arnold Schwarzenegger organized the South Florida Inner-City Games for at-risk kids. He was Chairman of the Bob Beamon United Way Golf Classic, which benefited youth-related programs for the United Way. In addition, he has gone on to pursue new dreams. He operates his own corporation, Bob Beamon Communications Inc., in Central Florida as well as Las Vegas NV where he now lives with his wife Rhonda A. Beamon. He collaborates with several organizations to facilitate scholarship fairs in the Central Florida area. More than 35 colleges and Universities award over $10 million in scholarships to qualified high school seniors. He is also an exhibited artist designing and marketing a successful line of neckties and scarves and he has a line of apparel that can be purchased online at the IOC website. Bob spends much of his time as an inspirational speaker and corporate spokesperson. He has developed his own motivational program, The Champion in You, in which he describes how, "Champions are made by the things you accomplish and by the way you use your abilities in everyday life situations." Bob remains very active in the Olympic movement.