Gertrude Ederle was born in New York City on October 23, 1905. She was a champion swimmer by her late teen years, and she competed in the 1924 Olympics. In 1926, she became the first woman to swim the English Channel; her record-breaking achievement brought her a period of fame and acclaim. In her private later life, she taught swimming at a school for deaf children. She died at the age of 98..