Johnny Weissmuller

Mason 21 Feb,2024

Facts of Johnny Weissmuller

Full Name
Johann Peter Weißmüller
Last Name
First Name


Career & Net worth

Net Worth
$2 million

Johnny Weissmuller, born in Romania in 1904 and immigrated to the United States as an infant, excelled as both an athlete and actor, leaving an indelible mark on both fields. Raised in Chicago, he honed his swimming skills, eventually emerging as one of the foremost competitive swimmers of the 20th century.

Johnny's remarkable career saw him clinch five Olympic gold medals and set an impressive 67 world records, alongside securing a bronze medal in water polo at the 1924 Olympics.

Weissmuller's Milestone Moments in Swimming

Johnny Weissmuller's athletic prowess was unparalleled, particularly in swimming and water polo. His achievements included setting an astounding 67 world records in swimming, clinching 52 national championships, and securing five Olympic gold medals, alongside a bronze in water polo.

Among his notable feats, he became the first swimmer to break the minute mark for the 100-meter freestyle and the five-minute mark for the 440-yard freestyle. Additionally, he triumphed twice in the Chicago Marathon Race and showcased his versatility by competing in the pentathlon and open water races.

Acknowledged as the greatest swimmer of the first half of the 20th century by the Associated Press, Weissmuller's talents extended beyond aquatic sports. He embraced various recreational pursuits such as golf, surfing, sailing, and diving. Furthermore, his significant contributions to swimming were immortalized when he became the founding chairman and inaugural inductee of the International Swimming Hall of Fame.

From Athlete to Hollywood Star

Weissmuller's athletic prowess garnered the attention of Hollywood, leading to his debut as an Adonis in a musical film. However, it was his iconic portrayal of Tarzan, the legendary jungle hero conceived by Edgar Rice Burroughs, that propelled him to stardom.

Spanning from 1932 to 1948, Weissmuller starred in 12 Tarzan films, cementing his status as the quintessential embodiment of the character. Notably, he created the iconic Tarzan yell, an improvised sound that became synonymous with the character.

Johnny As Tarzan

Following his tenure as Tarzan, Weissmuller transitioned to adventure films, notably portraying Jungle Jim, a character adapted from a comic strip. Over the 1940s and 1950s, he was featured in 16 Jungle Jim films and a television series, showcasing his enduring appeal in the genre.

Retiring from acting in the late 1950s, Weissmuller relocated to Florida, where he managed a swimming pool business while actively promoting water safety, particularly for children.

In 1984, Weissmuller passed away in Mexico, having left an enduring legacy as both a sporting and cinematic legend. His contributions to both realms continue to captivate and inspire millions of fans worldwide, solidifying his place in history as a pioneering figure in jungle films and an icon of athleticism and entertainment.

The Romantic Saga of Johnny Weissmuller

Throughout his life, Johnny Weissmuller entered into matrimony five times. Among his relationships, the most renowned and tumultuous was with Lupe Vélez, an actress hailing from Mexico.

Their union commenced in 1933 but concluded in 1939 amidst numerous public altercations and controversies. Dubbed "Tarzan and the Mexican Spitfire" by the media, their connection became emblematic of both passion and strife.

Weissmuller's final marriage was to Maria Gertrude Baumann, whom he wedded in 1963 and remained with until his passing in 1984.

Charitable Causes & Involvements

Throughout his lifetime, Johnny Weissmuller distinguished himself through his dedication to charitable endeavors. He traversed the globe, engaging in philanthropic endeavors that included the establishment and support of children's hospitals in locations such as Istanbul and Madrid.

Among his noteworthy acts was the donation of all his Olympic medals and numerous trophies to the Special Olympics in 1976, contributing to their fundraising exhibitions.

Furthermore, Weissmuller actively promoted healthy dietary habits and fitness, lending his name to health food stores, cocktail lounges, and a company specializing in swimming pool construction. His unwavering commitment to philanthropy and the promotion of well-being stood as a cornerstone of his enduring legacy.

The Immortal Legacy of Johnny Weissmuller

Johnny Weissmuller passed away on January 20, 1984, at the age of 79 due to a pulmonary edema. This condition involves the accumulation of fluid in the lungs, resulting in breathing difficulties.

He was laid to rest in Acapulco, Mexico, with a poignant tribute: his iconic Tarzan yell reverberated three times as he was interred. Surviving him were his wife, Maria, along with his children John, Wendy, and Lisa, as well as six grandchildren. Renowned as one of the preeminent figures of his era, Weissmuller left an indelible mark as both a swimmer and actor.

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