Gertrude Ederle

by Meghan Oswald

Biography of Gertrude Ederle

Gertrude Ederle was born on October 23, 1905 in New York City, New York. Gertrude was one out of five kids in their family, and her parents were immigrants that owned a butcher shop. Gertrude found her love for swimming when she was 9 years old at public pools. It wasn’t until the age of 15 was when she properly knew how to swim. She soon left school so she would be able to train more. Two years later, she won a gold and a bronze medal during the 1924 Paris Olympics. During June of 1925, Gertrude became the first woman to swim the length of New York Bay. The same summer, Gertrude wanted to swim across the English Channel which was 21 miles. On her first attempt Gertrude was pulled after 8 hours and 46 minutes of swimming because her coach, Jabez Wolff, was afraid she was swallowing too much saltwater. Gertrude fired her coach and hired T.W. Burgess. She attempted to swim the channel again on August 6, 1926. Gertrude only took 14 hours and 31 minutes, while beating two records. She was the first woman to swim across the channel and she beat the men’s time by two hours. she damaged her hearing while swimming the channel so she spent most of her time teaching deaf students how to swim. Gertrude never married and passed away in New Jersey, at the age of 98, in 2003.
Gertrude Ederle- Swimmer


1. What age was she on her first win?

2. What medals did Gertrude win in the Olympics?

Impact of Gertrude Ederle

Gertrude made the swim under horrible conditions, made a huge contribution in history when many found it hard to take woman athletes serious. She made those people take her serious because she beat the record of five men.