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How Wilma Rudolph Overcame Early Health Problems to Launch a Record-Breaking Career

From the time she was born, the odds seemed stacked against Wilma Rudolph. As the 20th of 22 children growing up in St. Bethlehem, Tennessee, outside of Nashville, her family came from modest roots, with her dad working as a porter and her mom as a cleaning person. And then when she was 4 years old, she got both pneumonia and scarlet fever, leaving one of her legs “useless,” as she described.


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