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[Joe Griffith Starts Marathon Swim]

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Film Identifier: F.2012-03-1274
Run Time
0h 7m 37s
Date Produced
July 14 1958
Lifeguard Joe Griffith begins his 3rd attempt to swim across Lake Michigan from Chicago to Michigan City, Indiana. No one had previously completed the 36¾ mile swim.

Griffith's attempt was sponsored by local automobile dealer Jim Moran, who appears in the footage applying sunscreen to Griffith's torso while Griffith's wife massages his muscles. A crowd of onlookers—including press and Chicago police—gather on the dock as Griffith prepares to enter the lake near what is now Museum Campus. Griffith sets off on his marathon swim with Moran and his wife in a rowboat beside him. The camera travels with the group until settling on a construction scene on the shore.

Griffith's 1958 swim was ultimately unsuccessful; he would try again in 1959, but needed to be pulled from the water 28 miles into the journey.
Main Credits
Koza, Frank (is filmmaker)
Actors, Performers and Participants
Griffith, Joe (is participant)
Moran, Jim (is participant)
Related Place
Chicago (depicts)