Swimming Champion. Considered a legend in the backstroke, she was a dominant figure in her sport for much of the 1920s. She won the gold medal in the 100-meter race at the 1924 Olympic Games in Paris. Bauer was born in Chicago. She began to swim for the Illinois Athletic Club (IAC) under trainer William Bacharach while still in high school, and later attended Northwestern University. In six years of competitive swimming she set 23 world records and won 11 National Championships, including six consecutive wins in the 100-yard backstroke (1921 to 1926). During an informal 1922 race Bauer became the first woman to break an existing men's record (the 440-yard backstroke, by four seconds), but her time was never officially recognized because the meet was unsanctioned. She was bound for even greater athletic glory when cancer claimed her life at 23. At the time she was engaged to marry Ed Sullivan, who was then a young sportswriter. In 1967 Bauer was inducted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame, and she was made a charter member of the Northwestern Athletics Hall of Fame in 1984.
Bio by: Bobb Edwards