Born: 23 October 1905
Died: 30 November 2003
Birthplace: New York, New York
Best known as: The first woman to swim the English Channel
American Gertrude Ederle was the first woman to swim across the English Channel, on 6 August 1926. Five men had performed the feat previously, but Ederle's time of 14 hours and 31 minutes broke the record by nearly two hours. The feat earned her lasting fame and a ticker-tape parade when she returned to New York City. Ederle also won a gold and two bronze medals in swimming at the 1924 Olympics.
Extra credit: Ederle played herself in the 1927 movie Swim Girl, Swim... Most sources list her birth year as 1906, but biographer David Adler told Who2 that a family member says she was actually born in 1905.
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