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Charles Williams *

School: Washington

Sports Played: Football, Track and Field

High School Honors: 2-year letter winner in both sports; All-PIL in 1923 in football. Graduated from high school in Kansas City, Kansas in 1926. No record of track exploits.

Post High School Career: University of Oregon; starter on Frosh team, 3-years on Varsity as fullback, halfback and defensive back; played on 1928 team that won 9 games. With Bobby Robinson (in PIL HOF from Jefferson), the first African Americans to play in college and at U of O. (Featured in a pictorial at the U of O athletic Hall of Fame) During the depression he worked as a stock boy, dining car waiter and warehouse laborer, rising to become a warehouse supervisor for the Oregon Liquor Control Commission in 1956.


(from U of O Hall of Fame website)

Williams and Robinson helped the Ducks to a 7-1 record heading into the final game of the 1929 season against the Florida Gators. The game made front page headlines because Florida officials told Oregon that their African American players would not be allowed to take the field. Williams and Robinson were left home and the Ducks traveled by train to Miami and lost the game 20-6, finishing the season 7-2.

Duck coach John J. McEwen called Williams "the toughest man I ever met for his strength on and off the field amidst adverse times."

Williams' half-brother Shelby Golden from Commerce '34 (now Cleveland) was inducted in the same 2014 class as Williams. Golden, an outstanding golfer at Commerce and the University of Oregon, was not allowed to play on many golf courses in his era because of his race.

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