ISHOF Honoree Dr. Ransom J. Arthur
Grandfather of Masters swimming
Captain Ransom Arthur, USN, M.D. (USA) was inducted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame as an Honor Contributor in 1990. At the request of Fran Arthur, June Krauser accepted the honor with the following words:
"It is my privilege to accept this honor in memory of Captain Ransom J. Arthur, and on behalf of his family, here with us tonight, and the world of Masters swimming. How sad he left us in such an untimely fashion, since this honor is a jewel among the many that Ransom earned during his lifetime. Today, FINA has recognized Masters swimming, accepts world records and supports world championships in all five aquatic disciplines for Masters. Ransom's dream of adults swimming for fun, fitness and fellowship has mushroomed into the physical fitness explosion of today. Ransom would be proud of the progress his program has made, as we are so very proud and grateful for his contribution. He would also take pride in the contribution and physical fitness through continued competitive swimming his program has brought to countless swimmers. He was greatly moved by his selection to the International Swimming Hall of Fame and was looking forward to being with us tonight. And he is here—in every one of you who swims for fitness—in every one of you who gives a child the gift of enjoyment in the water, a legacy that will last a lifetime."
Perhaps some of you caught the ceremonies on TV as they made an hour and a half show of the weekend festivities and it was shown three different times on the Sunshine Network.
Swim-Master, June-July 1990
The following text was included in the program for the induction ceremony of that year:
The record: founding father of Masters Swimming program. Author of 84 publications and papers within the sport. Held four national Masters swimming records.
No sport ever had a founding father so well qualified to fight its battles than did Masters swimming under the late Captain Ransom Arthur, U.S. Navy swimmer, coach and M.D.
Masters swimming is a relatively new age group in the sport but Honor Contributor, Ransom Arthur, had been thinking about it a long time before he and John Spannuth held the first Masters championships in Amarillo, Texas in 1970. As in all sports for seniors, there were all kinds of questions about what parameters should be set to control competitive physical stress and all out explosive activity for older people. Swimming lucked out when Arthur, a research minded medical doctor and a fitness minded career naval officer, became obsessed with the subject of swimming in later life. Dr. Arthur also had the government testing resources at his disposal and he was his own dedicated guinea pig. He coached a Navy team (including himself) that went on swimming for fun and fitness well beyond the traditional peak performance years. "Why when this is so healthy for mind and body, should we ride around in golf carts instead of swimming from 25 till 100" Captain Arthur asked over and over again.
Johnny Weissmuller taught Ransom to swim when he was four. He started competitive swimming in 1937, swam briefly for the University of California, interrupted by World War II and then on to Harvard Medical School. Actually he never really left the pool or the ocean in his lifetime of swimming. He leaves the fastest growing age group of swimming as his heritage for hundreds of thousands of Masters swimmers throughout the world.