Irving Davids/Captain Roger W. Wheeler Memorial Award

1974  Jerry Nason

1909 - 1986


Bringing the Masses to Open Water Swimming

Jerry Nason was an American writer specializing in marathon running reporting from Winchester, Massachusetts. He wrote frequently about the Boston Light Swim and did much to support the New England Marathon Swimming Association and marathon swimming in New England. His writings told the story of the technical aspects of the marathon swimming.


Jerry was born to write about sports. He began working at the Boston Globe newspaper as a copy boy before becoming a cartoonist. He was elevated to schoolboy sports editor, college editor and then sports editor and columnist in 1942. His career culminated as the sports editor for the Boston Globe for 33 years before retiring in 1974. He was nicknamed 'The Expert' for his knowledge of the Boston Marathon and his publication of its history.

He became the first non-runner elected to the Road Runners Hall of Fame. But he not only pecked on his typewriter to cover seven Olympic Games, the 1941 Sugar Bowl, numerous baseball World Series, world championship fights, Harvard football games, and track meets, but also worked hard to colorfully describe the exploits of open water swimmers.


He was an unparalleled wordsmith when it came to describing the inner drive needed by the marathon swimmer to complete their attempts and enabled readers to understand the experiences of those who pushed themselves to extraordinary lengths in the open water. His reports would give the impression of being on the swimmer’s escort craft and observing the swim stroke-by-stroke.

While Jerry is known more for his numerous awards by his peers and in his industry, the marathon swimming world appreciated his efforts to bring the passion of swimmers to the general public.


In 1974 as a result of his efforts and reach he was presented the Irving Davids / Captain Roger W. Wheeler Memorial Award for his contributions to open water swimming.

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