John B. Kelly, Sr.

John B. Kelly, Sr.

Olympic Medalists In Rowing
Born Oct 4, 1889

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1889 Birth Born in 1889.


1908 19 Years Old In 1908, he began bricklaying in Philadelphia and he also learned to row on the Schuylkill River.


1916 27 Years Old By 1916, Kelly was a national champion and the best sculler in the United States when, as part of the World War I call up, Kelly joined United States Army as a private.
1918 29 Years Old 1 More Event
He rose to the rank of lieutenant when he was discharged in 1918. … Read More


1919 30 Years Old 1 More Event
In 1919, Kelly played professional football for the Holmesburg Athletic Club. The team would go on to win the 1919 and 1920 Philadelphia City Championship.
In 1920, Kelly applied to race in the Diamond Sculls at the Henley Royal Regatta. … Read More
1924 35 Years Old 1 More Event
In 1924, Kelly and Costello repeated their success, winning the double-scull event at the Summer Olympics in Paris. … Read More


1935 46 Years Old Kelly was Commodore of the Schuylkill Navy from 1935–1940, and was President of the NAAO, the then governing board for U.S. rowing, from 1954 through 1955. … Read More
1937 48 Years Old Kelly was actively involved in city politics, including chairmanship of the Philadelphia County Democratic Party in 1937 and ran for Mayor of Philadelphia in 1935. … Read More


1941 52 Years Old He was a commissioner and later president of the Fairmount Park Commission, which administered Fairmount Park in Philadelphia, one of the largest municipal parks in the world. In 1941, President Roosevelt named the still popular Kelly as the National Physical Fitness Director, a post he held throughout World War II. … Read More
1947 58 Years Old 1 More Event
John B. Kelly, Jr., won the Diamond Sculls at Henley in 1947 and 1949.


Kelly was also the father of Grace Kelly, an Academy Award-winning actress who became princess of Monaco when she married Prince Rainier in 1956. … Read More
1960 71 Years Old Died in 1960.
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