Bill Smith, the 1948 London Olympic Games gold medalist in the 400m freestyle and 4x200m free for the US, has passed away.
William Melvin Smith, Jr. was born in Honolulu, Hawaii, on May 16, 1924.
He held world records in the 200, 400 and 800 meter freestyle for eight years. He also won a total of 36 individual and relay titles in AAU, Big Ten and NCAA Championships and was three-times runner up for the Sullivan Award, the USA’s highest amateur sports honor. He was inducted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame in 1966.
After retiring, Smith served as the Water Safety Director, Department of Parks and Recreation for the City and County of Honolulu. He also coached age group swimmers for many years, most recently at the Kamehameha Swim Club. A memorial service will be held in Honolulu on Saturday, March 9.