Martha Hudson Pennyman Induction - March 2006

Anyone who knew her as a young girl knew Martha Hudson was going to a dynamite runner.
      Matha Hudson Pennyman, Olympic track and field gold medal winner and Amateur Athleic Union (AAU) All-American, was born in Eastman, Georgia.  She attended Twin City Elementary and Twin City High School where she quickly became an athletic standout.  Robert Jackson Sr., a physical education teacher, noticed Martha's natural running ability and encouraged her to concentrate on track rather than basketball.
     During her eighth grade year, Martha won her district's meet in the 50, 75, and 100 - yard dashes held in Fort Valley, Georgia.  She advanced to the Tuskegee Relays in Alabama where she caught the eye of Edward Temple, the track coach of the famed Tennessee State Tigerbelles.  At Temple's invitation, Martha participated in his summer track clinics from 19955 through 1957, outrunning many of the legendary coach's Tigerbelles.  In 1957, she graduated from high school as the salutatorian of her class, accepting a scholarship to Tennessee State University.  While at TSU, Martha (nicknamed "Pee-Wee" by a teamamte) set a record in the 50 and 100 yard dashes at the AAu held in Philadelphia.  Martha wasw a member of the first United States track team to compete in Russia's Goodwill games in 1958.  In 1959, she and three of her teammates set a record to win the 4x100 meter relay during the Pan American Games held in Chicago, Illinois.  This win set the stage for a hair raising repeat performance by Martha and her teammates during the 1960 Olympics held in Rome, Italy.  Martha Hudson, Barbara Jones, Lucinda Williams and Wilma Rudolph awed the crowd in Rome as they set a world record time of 44.3 second in the 4x100 relay, thus taking home the gold and the record.
     Martha graduated from TSU in 1962 with a B.S. in Elementary Education. She moved back to Georgia, where she married and raised a family.  She retired from the Thomaston Upson Board of Education in 2001 with 37 years of teaching experience closing this chapter of her life.
     Martha has been inducted into the Tennessee State University Hall of Fame (1983), Georgia Sports Hall of Fame (1986), and the Thomaston Upson Sports Hall of Fame (2005).