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Walter Hoover, who was born in Duluth, was considered one of the three greatest scullers for the first half of the 20th century.

He was the winner of many international and national championships while competing for the Duluth Boat club. He had joined the club as a swimmer, but switched to rowing in 1913, at the age of eighteen.

In 1920, Hoover took the year off from rowing competitions. During that time he designed a racing shell that would he would later use to win the world championship.

In 1922, one day after winning the Philadelphia Gold Challenge Cup (the single sculls championship trophy), he embarked for England to compete at the Henley Royal Regatta. Hoover won two heats before he won the finals race. He was the first American to win the race in 22 years.

After retiring as a competitive rower in 1928, Hoover coached rowers from the Detroit Boat Club. In 1956, he was the coach of the U.S. Olympic rowing team's small boats. His five teams won two gold, two silver and a bronze medal at the Olympics in Melbourne, Australia.

In 1982, at the age of 87, he was still working on designing new rowing shells.


Class: 1958.

Sport: Rowing.

Teams: Duluth Boat Club, coach of U.S. Olympic team.