William A. Lewis
William A. Lewis
Hometown: Allentown, PA
Team: Swimming & Diving

William A. Lewis '34
Hometown:
Allentown, PA
Sport:
Swimming & Diving
Year Inducted:
1981

William A. Lewis ’34 won five New England swimming championships, broke myriad Brown and New England records, and was named to the All-American first team as a junior. The native of Allentown, PA., prepared at Haverford School and Culver Military Academy, setting swimming marks at both schools. He captained the 6-2 Cub team of 1930-31 and was a consistent winner in the 50 and 100-freestyle events. In the first meet of his sophomore season, Lewis tied the national record for the 50-free with a flat 24 seconds and broke the Brown mark of 24.3. That same night, he tied the Brown (Davey Jones) and New England record for the 100 with a 54.4. When Brown tied Williams for the New England championship that year, Lewis won the 100 and was second to Swayze of Williams on the judge’s decision in the 50. Bill Lewis had a sensational junior season, setting a pool record for the 50 (24.1) at Harvard, leading Brown to victory in the New Englands, and finishing third nationally in the 100 and fourth in the 50 during the Intercollegiates held at Annapolis. In the New Englands, he took the 50-free in 24.2, the 100 in 53.8 (a new N.E. mark), and then anchored the 200-yard relay team which won in 1:38.1. A year later, the New Englands went down to the final event, the 400 freestyle, which was won in the record-breaking time of 3:43.6 by the Brown unit anchored by Lewis. In twelve individual races against the best Harvard and Yale had to offer, Lewis had six first, five seconds, and a third. On November 24, 1943, Lt William Lewis, USN, was last at sea when his ship, the Lescombe Bay, was sunk by a Japanese torpedo off the Gilbert Islands. “Bill Lewis was one of the best of the long line of greats that Leo Barry turned out on College Hill,” Joe Nutter ’24 wrote in the Bulletin. “He was more than a star on the swimming team. His rollicking spirit, his love of fun, his effervescence, and the stories of his exploits in and out of the pool had become something of a legend in the hallowed precincts of lower Lyman Gym and its adjoining Colgate Hoyt Pool.