As the first black athletics medalist, George Poage has a special place in Olympic history. When Poage was three years old his family moved to LaCrosse, Wisconsin, where his father obtained a position as coachman to a wealthy lumberman in that town. In 1899, George Poage became the first black student to graduate from LaCrosse High School, after which he entered the University of Wisconsin, graduating from there in 1904. While a senior at Wisconsin he set another first by being the first black athlete to be invited to become a member of the Milwaukee AC. Poage was outstanding for Wisconsin in dual meets and set collegiate records of 49.0 for 440 y and 25.0 for the 220 y hurdles. At the 1904 Olympics, Poage was eliminated in the heats of the 60 m dash before he won his two medals. Immediately following the Games, Poage took up a teaching post at Charles Sumner High School in St. Louis and remained there until 1914, when he returned to Minnesota and purchased a quarter section, which he farmed until 1920. He then moved to Chicago, briefly worked in the restaurant business, and then was in the employ of the post office for 27 years before retiring.
Personal Bests: 440y – 49.0 (1902); 400H – unknown.