Dick Howell

Richard John Howell (October 12, 1903 – July 20, 1967) was an American competition swimmer who represented the United States at the 1924 Summer Olympics in Paris.

Dick Howell
Personal information
Full nameRichard John Howell
National team United States
Born(1903-10-12)October 12, 1903
Chicago, Illinois
DiedJuly 20, 1967(1967-07-20) (aged 63)
Arlington Heights, Illinois
Height6 ft 6 in (1.98 m)
College teamNorthwestern University

As a 20-year-old at the 1924 Olympics, he swam for the gold-medal-winning American relay team in the men's 4×200-meter freestyle relay.[1] After swimming in the preliminary heats and semifinals and helping the American relay team qualify for the final, he was replaced by Johnny Weissmuller. In the semifinals he was a member of the team that set a new world record of 9:59.4, breaking the ten-minute barrier in the event for the first time.[1] Howell also competed in the men's 1,500-meter freestyle; he qualified for the semi-finals but did not advance.[1][2]

Howell was born in Chicago, Illinois.[1] He attended Hyde Park High School in Chicago, and set several national high school records while swimming for Hyde Park.[3]

After high school, he enrolled in Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, where he swam for the Northwestern Wildcats swimming and diving team in National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and Big Ten Conference competition from 1922 to 1926.[4] Competing as a Wildcat, he won three NCAA national collegiate titles including the 400- and 1500-meter freestyle events in 1924 and the 220-yard freestyle in 1925.[5] He also captured four Big Ten titles, and set ten Big Ten freestyle records.[4] Remembered as one of Northwestern's all-time greatest swimmers, Howell was also a member of three intercollegiate championship water polo teams and wrestled while at Northwestern.[4] In his final year as a Northwestern undergraduate, Howell married fellow student Elizabeth Fletcher.[6]

Howell died in Arlington Heights, Illinois in 1967.[1]

See also


  1. Sports-Reference.com, Olympic Sports, Athletes, Dick Howell. Retrieved January 20, 2016.
  2. Sports-Reference.com, Olympic Sports, Swimming at the 1924 Paris Summer Games, Men's 1,500 metres Freestyle Round One. Retrieved January 20, 2016.
  3. "Hyde Park Take Prep Title Swim As Records Sink," Chicago Daily Tribune, p. 1. (March 26, 1922). Retrieved January 20, 2016.
  4. "Fifty Wildcat Greats: Richard Howell," Northwestern Magazine (Fall 2013). Retrieved January 20, 2015.
  5. NCAA Division I Men's Swimming & Diving, National Collegiate Athletic Association, Indianapolis, Indiana, p. 11 (2013). Retrieved January 20, 2016.
  6. International News Service, "May Force Groom to Give Up School," Journal Gazette, p. 8 (February 23, 1926). Retrieved January 20, 2016.
  • Evans, Hilary; Gjerde, Arild; Heijmans, Jeroen; Mallon, Bill. "Dick Howell". Olympics at Sports-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC.

Preceded by
Perry McGillivray,
Pua Kealoha,
Norman Ross,
Duke Kahanamoku
Men's 4×200-meter freestyle relay
world record-holder

July 18, 1924 – July 20, 1924
Ralph Breyer,
Harry Glancy,
Dick Howell,
Wally O'Connor
Succeeded by
Ralph Breyer,
Harry Glancy,
Wally O'Connor,
Johnny Weissmuller

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