Viola Cady (Viola Cady)

Viola Cady

Athlete. Born Viola Hartman in Arizona, she began swimming and diving in 1919 when her family moved to California. She became one of the first women to swim the Catalina Channel. She won junior national diving championships in 1922, 1923, and 1924. In 1922 she also set the women’s record for the 220 meters. Known as the aquatic queen, she won 17 masters world diving titles during her career. She married her swim coach, Fred Cady, who trained four U.S. Olympic teams. In 1936 she appeared in the comedy short “Free Rent” and as a mermaid in the romantic musical “The King Steps Out.” She was the subject of the biography, “Viola — Diving Wonder & Aquatic Champion” by Margery Voyer Cole. She married Fred Krahn a few years after being widowed in 1960. At the age of 100, she appeared on “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” and dove into a pool on the set. She continued to compete in swim and dive meets until she was 101. She was inducted into the International Masters Swimming Hall of Fame in Fort Lauderdale, Florida in January 2004 after an 85-year career. She died at a convalescent home in California two months after suffering a stroke at the age of 102. (bio by: Iola)


  • January, 01, 1970


  • June, 06, 2004


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