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Kahanamoku, Duke

Kahanamoku, Duke, 1890–1968, American swimmer and surfer, b. Honolulu. A native Hawaiian, he was an excellent swimmer, surfer, and canoeist, and by 1911 he was setting Amateur Athletic Union swimming records, some of which were not recognized until years later. He won the gold medal in the 100-m freestyle and a silver medal in the freestyle relay at the 1912 Stockholm Olympic games, gold medals in both events in 1920 at Antwerp, and silver in the 100-m freestyle in 1924 at Paris. Kahanamoku also traveled widely, giving swimming and surfing demonstrations and popularizing the latter, which had been little known outside Hawaii. Kahanamoku moved to California in 1923 and appeared in movies, then returned to Hawaii, where he served as sheriff of Honolulu (1934–60).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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