Bob McCormack: Author, Historian, Ocean Swimmer

Bob McCormack: Author, Historian, Ocean Swimmer

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

Bob McCormack was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1937, but moved to Dorchester, Massachusetts in 1945 and learned to swim at Tenean Beach in Boston. He has remained in the Boston area and has documented important pieces of open water swimming history that would have been long forgotten if not for his four books on the sport.

In addition to his four books on ocean swimming and marathon swimming, McCormack wrote Reclaiming the Great World House: The Global Vision of Martin Luther King Jr. (3 books that are part of the Morehouse College King Collection Series on Civil and Human Rights Ser.), Remember the Brave: New England?s 26th (Yankee) Division with the American Expeditionary Force in World War I France 1917-1919, Swimming the Light: A Brief History of the Boston Light Swim 1907-1941, So You Want to Swim Alcatraz: Tips on a Successful Swim by a Four-Time Alcatraz Swimmer, We Went Over: Four veterans tell of their experiences on the battlefields of France in the Great War, The Jim Doty Story: Accounts of Some of the Marathon Swims of a Great Boston Swimmer, Alone on a Wide Wide Sea: An Account of Six Ocean Swims, and Swimming the Light: A Brief History of the Boston Light Swim 1976-2014 (Volume 2).

McCormack knows the sport well. He participated in open water swims from the of age 26 to 41 when he retired. Then he resumed his career in 2002 at 64 and has participated in over 40 events since.

He wrote The Jim Doty Story: Accounts of Some of the Marathon Swims of a Great Boston Swimmer, a book about James Doty, an Honor Swimmer in the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame that was published in 2010. That same year, he also wrote Alone on a Wide Wide Sea: An Account of Six Ocean Swims.

He later wrote Swimming the Light: A Brief History of the Boston Light Swim 1907-1941 and then Swimming the Light: A Brief History of the Boston Light Swim 1976-2014 (Volume 2), the following year in 2015.

Alone on a Wide Wide Sea is a paperback book about six of McCormack’s swims, in Brooklyn Bridge, from Alcatraz Island in San Francisco Bay, around Governors Island in New York City, at the Boston Light Swim, down the Hudson River in the Little Red Lighthouse Swim in New York City, and across the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. McCormack captured the history of the Boston Light Swim in two volumes where he writes about the exploits of swimmers from Annette Kellerman to Marcy MacDonald and Peter Jurzynski: Swimming the Light: A Brief History of the Boston Light Swim 1907-1941 and Swimming the Light: A Brief History of the Boston Light Swim 1976-2014 (Volume 2).

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Steven Munatones