Every sculling title available to him
Jack Kelly is probably the greatest sculler the United States has ever produced. He began rowing with the Chamonix and Montrose Boat Clubs of Philadelphia, but in 1909 he joined the Vesper Boat Club. Between 1909 and his competitive retirement after the 1924 Olympics, Kelly won every sculling title available to him, including the World Championship in both singles and doubles, the Olympics in singles and doubles, and many national titles in both boats. In 1919 and 1920, he won the national single sculls title over both the sprint distance (¼-mile) and 1½ miles. Kelly never won the Diamond Sculls at the Henley Regatta because he was denied entry. The usual rumor is that he was considered a professional by the Henley authorities, because his trade, as a contractor, gave him an unfair advantage in that it required him to use his muscles for strengthening, but that is false. In fact, all members of Vesper Boat Club were banned for what were considered, to the British, earlier professional activities. In addition, Kelly was a contractor but he was the boss and rarely did the heavy work himself. Kelly had two very famous children - John Kelly, Jr., another Olympic rower (bronze medal in single sculls in 1956) who was later U.S. Olympic Committee President, and the late Grace Kelly, the American movie star who later became Princess Grace of Monaco.