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Duke Paoa Kahanamoku

Born 1890 – Died 1968

A descendant of Hawaiian royalty, Duke is considered to not only Hawaii’s greatest athlete, but also the father of international surfing.  Duke won his first Olympic gold medal in 1912 where he set a world record in 100 meter free-style.  He also won a silver medal as a member of the United States 200-meter relay team.  In 1920 he won two gold medal breaking his record in 100 meter free style and setting a world record for the free-style relay team.  He won a silver medal in 1924 for the 100 meter free-style and in 1932 he won a bronze as a member of the water polo team.  He was a famed surfer and legendary as an outstanding longboard surfer.  He appeared in some 30 early movies and served for many years as Honolulu’s Ambassador of Aloha and County Sheriff.  He and great friend Preston Foster were members of the United States Coast Guard Temporary Reserve and both he and Foster were Honorary Commodores.


Last Modified 11/17/2014