Henry Norwood "Barney" Ewell (February 25, 1918 - April 4, 1996) was an American athlete, winner of one gold and two silver medals at the 1948 Summer Olympics.
Born into poverty in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, Barney Ewell was one of the world's leading sprinters of the 1940s.
He was the state's greatest high school sprinter-jumper in the mid-1930s, but he first achieved renown while a student at Pennsylvania State University, running the 100 m and 200 m races and winning 12 gold medals and championships in collegiate meets between 1940 and 1942. He also won 11 gold medals in AAU national meets between 1939 and 1948. He was an outstanding long jumper as well, leaping 25 feet 2 inches (7.68 m) in 1942.
He served his country during the years 1941 - 1945, returned to the university and received his B.S. degree in 1947. He surprised everyone by making the 1948 Olympic team, equalling he world record of 10.2 in the 100 m dash at the 1948 AAU championship, which was also the Olympic trials.
At the Olympic Games in London, he thought he had won 100 m only to learn the victory was given to teammmate Harrison Dillard. In the 200 m, Ewell had another close finish and again finished second - this time to teammate Mel Patton. He was added to the 4 x 100 m relay when Ed Conwell became sick and the American team rolled to an easy victory. However, the exchange between Ewell and Lorenzo Wright was ruled out of the zone and the Americans was disqualified. After viewing a film of the race, however, officials reversed the ruling, and Barney Ewell finally had his Olympic gold medal.
Barney Ewell died in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.
Olympic medalists in athletics (men) | Olympic Champions in Men's 4x100 m relay
1912 Great Britain David Jacobs, Henry Macintosh, Victor d'Arcy & William Applegarth
1920 United States Charlie Paddock, Jackson Scholz, Loren Murchison & Morris Kirksey
1924 United States Loren Murchison, Louis Clarke, Frank Hussey, Alfred LeConey
1928 United States Frank Wykoff, James Quinn, Charles Borah, Henry Russell
1932 United States Robert Kiesel, Emmett Toppino, Hector Dyer & Frank Wykoff
1936 United States Jesse Owens, Ralph Metcalfe, Foy Draper & Frank Wykoff
1948 United States Barney Ewell, Lorenzo Wright, Harrison Dillard & Mel Patton
1952 United States Dean Smith, Harrison Dillard, Lindy Remigino & Andy Stanfield
1956 United States Ira Murchison, Leamon King, Thane Baker & Bobby Joe Morrow
1960 West(?) Germany Bernd Cullmann, Armin Hary, Walter Mahlendorf & Martin Lauer
1964 United States Otis Drayton, Gerald Ashworth, Richard Stebbins & Bob Hayes
1968 United States Charles Greene, Melvin Pender, Ronnie Ray Smith & Jim Hines
1972 United States Larry Black, Robert Taylor, Gerald Tinker & Edward Hart
1976 United States Harvey Glance, John Wesley Jones, Millard Hampton & Steven Riddick
1980 Soviet Union Vladimir Muravyov, Nikolay Sidorov, Aleksandr Aksinin & Andrey Prokofyev
1984 United States Sam Graddy, Ron Brown, Calvin Smith & Carl Lewis
1988 Soviet Union Viktor Bryzgin, Vladimir Krylov, Vladimir Muravyov & Vitaly Savin
1992 United States Mike Marsh, Leroy Burrell, Dennis Mitchell & Carl Lewis
1996 Canada Robert Esmie, Glenroy Gilbert, Bruny Surin & Donovan Bailey
2000 United States Jon Drummond, Bernard Williams, Brian Lewis & Maurice Greene
2004 Great Britain Jason Gardener, Darren Campbell, Marlon Devonish & Mark Lewis-Francis