Sirdle, those facts you provide are amazing? He actually did ALL That stuff? Wow, how impressive.
And a lot more. I have a list around here somewhere. One year he swam from Alcatraz to Fisherman's Wharf... another time he did it handcuffed... another time handcuffed and shackled... another time towing a boat... truly amazing. I think in 1976 he towed 76 boats across a bay somewhere.
What is more amazing is that as a kid he was laid up for a long time (I think it was a football injury to his knee) and was told by his doctor that he would never walk again. His determination was RAW. He set his sights on the steepest hill in town and vowed that one day he would walk up it... he did and never looked back!
In his late teens he started experimenting with weights. Local firemen and policemen would come over to his house. He had them all on exercise and diet plans. He experimented on them and on himself. He charted what they ate and how much they lifted. He invented machines to help with some of the lifts (many of the modern weight machines are based on designs of his, but he never thought to patent any of them). He was thought of as a charlatan and a quack. The policemen had to sneak over to his house at night because their captain did not approve...
I think I read somewhere that his parents both died young, from diet-related diseases. How sad.