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Gertrude Ederle
Female Swimmer

Birthdate: October 23, 1906
Hometown: New York City, New York
Year Inducted: 2003
Position: Swimmer

Gertrude was the child of Henry J. Ederle, a German butcher, and Gertrude Ederle, a housewife. She had five siblings and attended school through her first year of high school before dropping out. She received her early swimming training and coaching from the Women's Swimming Association of New York, and by the age of seventeen held 18 world swimming records. During her childhood, Gertrude suffered hearing loss from a battle with the measles.

Gertrude won a gold medal in the 1924 Olympics for the 400 meter freestyle relay team and a bronze medal for the 100 meter and 400 meter individual freestyle.

In 1926, Gertrude became the first woman to swim successfully across the English Channel in a record time of fourteen hours and thirty minutes. She beat the prior male record by one hour and fifty-nine minutes. Her new record lasted until 1950.

In 1965, Gertrude was inducted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame as the result of her 29 United States and world swimming records accrued throughout her career.

Since retiring from swimming, Gertrude has taught deaf children how to swim, a very personal interest of her own as the result of her own deafness at the age of 36. She co-starred in the film Swim, Girl, Swim.