New-York Historical Society's Bill Shannon Dictionary of New York Sports

Tag Archives: W.S.A.N.Y.

Martha Norelius

Martha Norelius (Swimming.  Born, Stockholm, Sweden, Jan. 20, 1908; died, St. Louis, MO, Sept. 23, 1955.)  Coming to the U.S. as a child with her swimming coach father (Charles), Martha Norelius was the best freestyle woman swimmer in the world for most of the 1920s.  Norelius joined the Women’s Swimming Association of New York and […]

Helen Meany

Helen Meany (Swimming. Born, New York, NY, Dec. 5, 1904; died, Old Greenwich, CT, July 21, 1991.) Winning her first national title at age 16, Helen Meany (later Mrs. Gravis) was the first American diver to be selected for three straight Olympics (1920, 1924, 1928). Still another W.S.A.N.Y. star, Meany won 17 A.A.U. national titles […]

Lou Handley

Lou Handley (Swimming.  Born, Rome, Italy, 1874; died, New York, NY, Dec. 28, 1956.)  Though something of an athlete himself in his youth, Louis deBreda Handley achieved his greatest fame after emigrating to America as a swimming coach.  Handley was the principal coach for the Women’s Swimming Association of New York, the primary source for […]

Charlotte Epstein

Charlotte Epstein (Swimming.  Born, New York, NY, Sept. 17, 1884; died, New York, NY, Aug. 26, 1938.)  Of the true pioneers of athletics for women, Charlotte Epstein ranks near the top.  Epstein was one of the organizers of the National Women’s Life Saving League and in Oct. 1917, led the formation of the Women’s Swimming […]

Gertrude Ederle

Gertrude Ederle (Swimming.  Born, New York, NY, Oct. 23, 1906; died, Wyckoff, NJ, Nov. 30, 2003.)  As the youngest athlete ever to set a world record in a major sport, the first woman to swim the English Channel and a performer who once set seven world records in a single day, Gertrude Caroline Ederle is […]

Charlotte Boyle Clune

Charlotte Boyle Clune (Swimming.  Born, Brooklyn, NY, Aug. 20, 1899; died, Scottsville, NY, Oct. 3, 1990.)  A leader among the early stars of the Women’s Swimming Association of New York, Charlotte Boyle (later Mrs. Clune) was hailed as the American women’s swimming champion in 1919.  Boyle set four world and U.S. records from 1917-21.  She […]

Ethelda Bliebtrey

Ethelda Bliebtrey (Swimming.  Born, Waterford, NY, Feb. 27, 1902; died, West Palm Beach, FL, May 6, 1978.)  When what was a coastal life-saving service during World War I was converted into the Women’s Swimming Association of New York, Ethelda Bliebtrey was one of its stars.  In 1920 and 1921, Bliebtrey won seven national championships (all […]

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The Bill Shannon Biographical Dictionary of New York Sports is an open database of sports biographies maintained by Jordan Sprechman and Marty Appel. We welcome public and scholarly contributions and suggestions.

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About Bill Shannon

A prolific author, wire service sports reporter, long time Major League Baseball official scorer, football statistician, sports museum founder, theatrical agency owner and public ... read more

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