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Jewish Hall of Fame: Mark Spitz

The third inductee into the Hall of Fame is legendary Olympian Mark Spitz, whose broken over a dozen records in his lifetime and holds nine Olympic Gold medals, one Silver, and one Bronze

By: Zak Edwards
Published: November 20th, 2013 in News » World
Mark Spitz showing off his gold medals in 1972

Since the dawn of time, or at least since it's been recorded on paper, Jewish men, women and children have contributed to various industries and fields, from sports to entertainment to politics to porn.

With our Breakthrough Jew feature, we recognize those men and women who are up and comers in these various industries, identifying those great innovators and leaders in the contemporary world who are making a mark on society that will last a lifetime.

But what of those who have already made a significant contribution to the world as we know it? Those Jewish men and women who have greatly influenced the way we live today, but have never received proper accreditation?

Welcome to the Jewish Hall of Fame.

Shalom Life's newest weekly feature, the Jewish Hall of Fame is a way to recognize the remarkable advancements these members of our community have made on today's society. These are people who have truly changed the world, and have earned the respect and praise of the members of today's younger generation, many of whom are unaware that they even exist, let alone that they are Jewish.

As such, Shalom Life’s Jewish Hall of Fame is our ongoing tribute to the greatest Jews who have ever lived; be sure to catch us weekly with our latest inductees, and tweet us @ShalomLife with your suggestions.

Hall of Fame Member: Mark Spitz

Born: February 10, 1950, Modesto, California

Famous For: Being one of the most decorated Olympic athletes in history, donning a wicked moustache.

Mark Spitz has one of the greatest moustaches of all time, certainly within the Jewish community. His moustache has made such an impression that he once told a Russian swim coach once that it helped him swim faster.

The next year, every Russian swimmer had a moustache.

His moustache made our Jewish Top Tens list last year and we think it’s time he also got inducted into our Jewish Hall of Fame.

But not just for his moustache; Mark Spitz also happens to be one of the greatest Olympians in history. For winning 9 Olympic gold medals, one bronze, one silver, and for setting dozens of records, Mark Spitz is certainly deserving of all the acclaim he's received over the years.

In addition to being inducted into our Hall of Fame, he's also made the International Swimming Hall of Fame, the International Jewish Sports Hall of Fame, the United States Olympic Hall of Fame, and the National Jewish Museum Sports Hall of Fame, to name a few.

He was also named World Swimmer of the Year in 1969, 1971, and 1972 by Swimming World magazine.

Born in California to Jewish parents in 1950, Mark Andrew Spitz and his family moved to Hawaii when he was two years old. Though only in Hawaii for four years, Spitz swam at Waikiki Beach nearly every day, developing an obsession with water that eventually landed him 11 olympic medals. Spitz dedicated himself to swimming from an early age, competitively swimming by the age of six and holding 17 national records and one world record for his age group by his tenth birthday.

Continue reading on Page 2

Related articles: Jewish Hall of Fame, Mark Spitz, Olympics, Jewish News
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