Ederle, Gertrude

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Ederle, Gertrude Gender: F
born on 23 October 1906
Place New York, New York, 40n43, 74w0
Timezone EST h5w (is standard time)
Data source
Date w/o time
Rodden Rating X
Collector: Taglilatelo
Astrology data s_su.18.gif s_libcol.18.gif 29°23' s_mo.18.gif s_capcol.18.gif

Gertrude Ederle
photo: Unknown, license cc-by-sa-3.0-de


American athlete and Olympic gold medalist; the first woman to swim the English Channel, breaking the time record of the fastest man by one hour and fifty-nine minutes. She accomplished this amazing feat at the age of 19, on August 6, 1926, beginning her swim from Cape Gris-Nez near Calais, France at 7:09 AM. The seas were so rough on that stormy day that steamship crossings were cancelled, but despite urging to come out from the water, she completed the 35 mile swim to Dover, England in 14 hours 31 minutes, arriving at 9:40 PM.

She was born to a German immigrant family, daughter of a successful butcher and a homemaker, one of six children. Her mother taught her to swim. By the age of 12, she was the youngest person to break a world record without use of mechanics. She dropped out of high school after her first year and by age 14, she defeated 51 other women in an international long-distance swim race of three and one-half miles. By age 17, she held 18 world swimming records, and during the 1924 Olympic Games in Paris, she won a gold and two bronze medals in the five swimming events open to women. The following year, she swam the 21-mile distance from the Battery in lower Manhattan to Sandy Hook, NJ, establishing her 29th national and world record.

She first attempted to swim the English Channel on August 18, 1925, but her trainer stopped the race when he thought she was in trouble. Until her 1926 accomplishment, only five men had swum the difficult distance.

Ederle suffered from a hearing impairment from childhood, and it was made worse by her swim across the Channel. By the 1940s, she was completely deaf. . In 1933, she injured her spine in a bad fall; she wore a cast for four years and 19 neurologists said she would never walk again. She recovered and appeared in Billy Rose's Aquacade at the New York World Fair in 1939; and, like so many other women of the time, worked in an aircraft plant during World War II. In 1965 she was one of the first 21 inductees into the international Swimming Hall of Fame and was inducted into the Women's Sports Hall of Fame in 1980. She died on November 30, 2003 in Wyckoff, NJ.

Link to Wikipedia biography


  • Work : Prize 1924 (won Olympic Gold and two Bronze medals)
  • Financial : Gain significant money 1926 (many commercial endorsements etc from Channel Swim)
  • Work : Great Achievement 6 August 1926 at 07:09 AM in Cap Griz-Nez, France (swam across English Channel)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.
  • Health : Accident (Non-fatal) 1933 (spinal injury)
  • Work : Gain social status 1965 (inducted into International Swimmers Hall of Fame)

Source Notes

date and place from Encyclopedia Britannica


  • Traits : Body : Constitution hardy
  • Traits : Personality : Persistent
  • Diagnoses : Body Part Problems : Ears (hearing impaired since childhood; deaf by the 1940s)
  • Diagnoses : Body Part Problems : Bone
  • Lifestyle : Work : Hazardous work
  • Lifestyle : Financial : Gain - Financial success in field
  • Vocation : Sports : Swimming
  • Notable : Awards : Hall of Fame
  • Notable : Awards : Olympics
  • Notable : Famous : First in Field (first woman to swim English Channel)
  • Notable : Famous : Top 5% of Profession