As a six-year old growing up in Puunene, HI (Maui), William Smith contracted typhoid. Once he recovered, his family got him to swim in an effort to rebuild his battered body. In 1942 Smith set a world record in the 200-meter free-style swim at the National Amateur Athletic Union meet in New London, Connecticut. His time was an astonishing 2:07.1.

Six years later, after World War II, Smith set another world record and won two gold medals at the Olympic Games in 1948 in the 400 meter freestyle in Olympic record time. He won his second gold medal in the 4 x 200 meter freestyle relay.

He was inducted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame in 1996.

BORN 1924

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