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Duke Paoa Kahanamoku was born August 24, 1890 in Honolulu, Hawaii, the first of six sons and three daughters of Duke and Julia Kahanamoku.
He grew up in carefree Waikiki with the ocean as his playground, doing what he loved – mostly swimming, surfing, canoeing and bodysurfing.
At the age of 21 he won his first Olympic gold medal, then went on to represent the United States in the Olympics for 20 years, winning not only medals but the hearts of people all over the world. He is remembered as a swimmer not just for remarkable speed, but for his grace in the water, his good humor, and his sportsmanship.