Since the first Modern Summer Olympic Games were held in Athens, Greece (1896), only 2,982 Gold Medals have been earned by athletes from around the world. A world with 7.8 Billion people in it. Greater Cleveland Sports Hall of Fame Member (GCSHF) Nathan "Nate" Eugene Brooks was one of those rare Olympic Gold Medalists. He boxed his way to gold in the 1952 Helsinki, Finland Summer Games on the exceptional U.S. Olympic Boxing Team. Nate Brooks' road to Olympic Gold began in Cleveland's southeast corner known as Miles Heights Village, one of the few historical suburbs where African Americans lived alongside European immigrants. Born the 8th of 11 children to Frank and Mary Brooks on August 8, 1933, in Cleveland, Ohio, Nate was a bright student and fierce competitor at a young age, as his father and first trainer had a boxing ring set up in their backyard. He boxed in Cleveland's Golden Gloves, where he was a 3-time Champion. Following his Olympics' win, Nate fought his way to become the 1954 North American Bantamweight Champion with an eighth-round knockout. After professional sports, the John Adams High School graduate successfully transitioned to a career as a Survey Engineer with the Ohio Department of Transportation, where he retired after 32-years. Nate had a quick wit, great sense of humor, was deeply devoted to his family, loved parties & cocktails, enjoyed debating any subject anytime and avidly followed the Olympic Games and sports for the rest of his life. He took particular pride in the Cleveland Cavaliers' historic 2016 NBA Championship win, as his former John Adams classmate, friend and fellow GCSHF member Nick Mileti was the Cavaliers' original owner, with team colors of Wine and Gold. The colors of their alma mater, John Adams High. Nate Brooks died Tuesday, April 14, from non-Covid19 related causes. His wife Theresa and stepson Kevin Sims preceded him in death. Left to cherish his memory are his brother Marvin Brooks (Barbara), sister Gail Brooks Tubbs, a host of nieces, nephews, friends, stepdaughters Kimberly (Roland) Silas, Kelli (Blake) Riggs and their families. A private graveside service will take place at Lakeview Cemetery Friday, April 24, 11:00 a.m. A Memorial Celebration will take place on a later date. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to the United States Olympic Committee's Team USA (support.teamusa.org
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Published by The Plain Dealer from Apr. 18 to Apr. 19, 2020.