Monday, April 12, 2010

April 12 Birthday: Jimmy Winkfield

Jimmy Winkfield, athlete
Apr. 12, 1882-Mar. 23, 1974

The Last Black King of the Kentucky Derby: The Story of Jimmy Winkfield by Crystal Hubbard, illustrated by Robert McGuire (Lee & Low Books, 2008)

A childhood love of horses led Jimmy Winkfield to a job at a racetrack as a teenager. Eventually “Wink” became a jockey and won back-to-back Kentucky Derby races in 1901 and 1902. “By late 1903 African American jockeys (in the U.S.) had become obsolete,” and Wink raced in Europe, where he eventually retired.

Listen to a profile of Winkfield on NPR’s Weekend Edition on the occasion of the 2002 Kentucky Derby.