The Original "World's Fastest Human"
Howard P. Drew is buried only 20 minutes from Springfield
This is the only monument to Howard P. Drew
Howard P. Drew is a role model for today's
youth. He persevered as a world-class sprinter even though fate kept
Olympic Gold out of his reach. He dropped out of high school
but returned to finish school and went to college on a
scholarship. He was injured in 1916 resulting in being
paralyzed on his left side. Everyone said he'd never run again
but he recovered and continued to sprint with a slight bend.
He insisted on being "treated like a man" during an era of pervasive
racism. When his career in track was over he continued to set
his sights high as an attorney and later as the first
African-American judge in
Howard P. Drew is a role model for today's youth. He persevered as a world-class sprinter even though fate kept Olympic Gold out of his reach. He dropped out of high school but returned to finish school and went to college on a scholarship. He was injured in 1916 resulting in being paralyzed on his left side. Everyone said he'd never run again but he recovered and continued to sprint with a slight bend. He insisted on being "treated like a man" during an era of pervasive racism. When his career in track was over he continued to set his sights high as an attorney and later as the first African-American judge in Connecticut.
Extraordinary Athlete, Olympian, Multiple World
Civil Rights Advocate, Track Coach, Track Official,
Scholar, Author, Attorney and Judge.
Forgotten by time - until now...
Howard Drew is recognized by the USC BAA in their exhibition:
HOWARD PORTER DREW: RULE MAKER...RECORD BREAKER
Howard Drew is inducted into the USC Track & Field Hall of Fame
and recognized as follows:
Click Above to Read Entire Editorial
Update: Jan. 29, 2012
Howard Drew is Inducted into the Massachusetts
State Track Coaches Association Athlete Hall of Fame
Cynthia Roberson, direct decendant
& great granddaughter of Howard Drew
accepts the MSTCA Hall of Fame "Flame" Award on his behalf.
Not surprisingly, Cynthia is a teacher in the Springfield Public Schools.
Howard Drew's name is now enshrined on the Athlete Hall of Fame wall at the Reggie Lewis Track Center in Boston, Mass.
click for PDF version
Complete African American Point of View July 2012 edition can be viewed by clicking here
Click Article to Read Online at
UPDATE: January, 2015
Eyasu Michael receives the Howard Drew Award at the
Howard Drew Track Banquet on January 10, 2015
at the Dunbar Community Center in Springfield, MA.
Presenting the award is Cynthia Roberson, great granddaughter of Howard Drew
Update: March 6, 2016
Historic Classical Inc. at Classical Condominiums
to Highlight Famed Springfield Athlete Howard Drew
Watch The Complete Video of the Howard Drew Presentation Here:
March 6, 2016 - Howard Drew
Receives Recognition from:
The United States Senate
The United States Congressional Record
The Massachusetts House and Senate
The Springfield (Massachusetts) City Council
A Proclamation by The Mayor
of The City of Springfield
UPDATE: MAY 16, 2016
Springfield Central High School track set to be named
after famed hometown sprinter Howard Drew
Cynthia Roberson, the great-granddaughter of Howard Drew, spoke at the dedication of
Springfield's Central High School track in his honor.
Reminder Publications photo by G. Michael Dobbs.
Howard Drew Finally Honored
Track Naming Ceremony
UPDATE: MAY 15, 2019
Three years after the formal dedication of the track at Springfield Central High School
the City of Springfield had not taken any steps to place a plaque or sign indicating
the naming of the track to honor Howard Drew. Using his own funds, Coach Larry Libow
had a plaque created and the city was kind enough to have the plaque install at the top
of the steps leading up to the stands that face the track and football field.
UPDATE: MAY 28, 2019
Kenny Ortiz is named the third recipient of the Howard Drew Award
at the 2019 High School of Commerce Track Awards Banquet
The Howard Drew Award is given
For Athletic Excellence
Pursuit of Scholarship and
Perserverance Depite Injury
Update: Summer 2021
City of Springfield now has a building mural
celebrating the life of Howard Drew - Springfield's greatest Olympian!
Update: Fall 2021
City of ?>
One of the pairings is Howard Drew and recent Commerce Track Captain, Alex Gibb. It's at the corner of State and Dwight streets.
Kareem Prawl Inducted as a
Howard Drew Award Winner
"As the very FIRST winner of this award, it is a bittersweet but beautiful moment whenever we add new young athletes into the fraternity. Dealing with injury is NEVER easy, regardless of the severity. No one tells you about the toll it takes on you mentally. Not to mention the obvious setbacks you experience physically.
I say all that to say that THIS award is one that will forever hold the highest respect in my trophy case. To be recognized as you are dealing with an injury is honestly better then any other award because it shows everyone that no matter what, your will to compete and continue fighting thru it is greater then anything else. As the first Howard P Drew award winner, I want all my friends and family to congratulate Kareem and welcome him into a very exclusive club!"
2012 Howard Drew Award Winner
Howard P. Drew Information Complied by Coach Larry Libow from:
- Springfield Republican Newspaper
archives at the Springfield Public Library,
- Archives at the Lyman & Merrie Wood Museum of Springfield History,
- Additional photographs submitted by Steve Vaitones, Managing Director, USATF-New England,
- Publication "Howard P. Drew: Record Breaker ...Rule Maker", 2006, USC Black Alumni Association,
- Lura Ball, Curator of Howard Drew memorabilia and USC exhibition researcher
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on Howard Drew in Springfield Republican Newspaper
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