The Story of Olympic Swimmer Duke Kahanamoku

By Ellie Crowe
Illustrated by Richard Waldrep

Paperback: $10.95


Growing up in Hawai'i with the Pacific Ocean as his backyard, Duke Kahanamoku learned to swim and surf at a young age. By his early twenties, Duke's lightning-fast swimming won him a place on the 1912 United States Olympic team and a gold medal in the 100-meter freestyle race. Over the years Duke struggled with racism and financial troubles, but by the end of his twenty-year Olympic career, he was a six-time medal winner.

Although he became a swimming champion, Duke's real passion was surfing. He traveled the world, introducing surfboarding to Australia and the east and west coasts of the United States. Considered the father of modern surfing, Duke spread his love of the ocean and Hawai'i wherever he went.

The Story of Olympic Swimmer Duke Kahanamoku introduces young readers to a man who was beloved for his modesty, sportsmanship, and amazing skill in the water. Today Duke remains a legendary waterman and an inspiration to all to live life with aloha.

This chapter book in our "Story" line includes black-and-white illustrations as well as sidebars on related subjects, a timeline, a glossary, and recommended reading.

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About the Creators

Thumb_thumb Ellie Crowe - Author

ELLIE CROWE has written several award-winning children's books, as well as travel/cultural books on Hawai'i. Her titles have been recognized with the Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature and on the Texas Bluebonnet Master List. Crowe first heard of Duke Kahanamoku while living in Australia. When she moved to Hawai'i, she found Duke was a hero there too. She lives in Honolulu with her family. You can visit her online at

Thumb_thumb Richard Waldrep

RICHARD WALDREP's paintings honoring subjects as varied as the Olympic Games, American music, and history have appeared on thirty-nine US postage stamps. He has also created award-winning illustrations for editorial, publishing, advertising, and corporate clients including Men's Health, U.S. News and World Report, the Washington Post, and Parker Brothers. He lives in Sparks, Maryland.