Vintage Olympic Heroes
California native Buster Crabbe (1908-1983) attended Southern Cal as an undergrad
and a law student. Although he won only one NCAA swimming title,
he went on to win 18 AAU championships and set 16 world records.
In 1928 he won a bronze Olympic medal (1,500 meter freestyle),
and at the 1932 Los Angeles Olympics (above) he was the only U.S. gold medalist
in men’s swimming.
After the games, he was signed by Paramount Studios, which was looking for a rival
to Johnny Weissmuller’s Tarzan at MGM.
He went on to make 175 movies, but he portrayed Tarzan only once.
King of the Jungle 1933
Crabbe was a life-long advocate of physical fitness
and conducted televised physical fitness programs.
In 1971 at age 63, he set a world age group record for the 400 meter freestyle.
He also had extensive business interests, including Buster Crabbe Swimming Pools.
With a side of jockstraps:
You gotta have art:
Italian Jesuit priest Renato Laffranchi (b. 1923) is also an author and painter.
In 2004 the Catholic university faculty of St. Louis University voted to remove
one of his paintings, which symbolized four rivers flowing
from the Garden of Eden, with gardens in four quadrants.
Critics pointed out that the work resembled a swastika with shortened arms.
However, the university's president refused to remove the painting
prior to its scheduled annual rotation.