Marvin “Duke” Nelson - Swimming Hall of Fame Honoree
Year of Induction: 1979
Duke swam in the Des Moines River in warm and cold water and weather and specialized in swimming 24K (15 miles) in frigid, choppy lake waters. In 1930, he won his first world championship title defeating a field of 173 at the Canadian National Exhibition Marathon Swim in Toronto in 7 hours and 44 minutes, winning US$10,000 and won again in 1934. He also won the 24K (15-mile) Lake Michigan swim in Chicago twice, finishing a half-mile ahead of the pack in 1934.