John Naber

John Naber

John Naber
Naber in 2012
Personal information
Full name John Phillips Naber
National team  United States
Born (1956-01-20) January 20, 1956
Evanston, Illinois
Height 6 ft 6 in (1.98 m)
Weight 194 lb (88 kg)
Sport Swimming
Strokes Backstroke, freestyle
Club Ladera Oaks Swim Club
College team University of Southern California

John Phillips Naber (born January 20, 1956) is an American former competition swimmer, five-time Olympic medalist, and former world record-holder in multiple events.

Naber was born and raised in Evanston, Illinois. After high school, he attended the University of Southern California, where he completed his bachelor's degree in psychology in 1977. While he was at USC, Naber helped lead the USC Trojans swimming team to four consecutive NCAA Men's Swimming and Diving Championships.

Naber won four gold medals at the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal, Quebec. Each of these victories was swum in world-record time.

One of Naber's gold medals was for the first 200 meter backstroke swam in under two minutes,[1] and his winning time of one minute and 59.19 seconds set a world record that stood for seven years. His world record of 55.49 second in the 100 meter backstroke also stood for seven years.[2]

For these accomplishments in Montreal and elsewhere, Naber won the 1977 James E. Sullivan Award, which is presented to the top American amateur athlete of the year. He was inducted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame as an "Honor Swimmer" in 1982.

Following his swimming career, Naber worked as a sports broadcaster, motivational speaker, and professional writer.[1]

In May 2014, John Naber was inducted into Woodside High School's Community Hall of Fame.[3]

See also


  1. ^ a b Cousineau, Phil (2003). The Olympic Odyssey: Rekindling the True Spirit of the Great Games. Quest Books. p. 161.  
  2. ^ "Britannica Library". 
  3. ^

External links

  • Official website
  • John Naber – Olympic athlete profile at
  • John Naber (USA) – Honor Swimmer profile at International Swimming Hall of Fame

Preceded by
Roland Matthes
Men's 100-meter backstroke
world record-holder (long course)

July 18, 1976 – August 6, 1983
Succeeded by
Rick Carey
Preceded by
Roland Matthes
Men's 200-meter backstroke
world record-holder (long course)

June 19, 1976 – August 3, 1983
Succeeded by
Rick Carey
Preceded by
Tim Shaw
Swimming World
World Swimmer of the Year

Succeeded by
Brian Goodell
Preceded by
Jeff Dankworth
Randolph H. Dean
Steve Furniss
John Hencken
Gerald G. Huesken
NCAA Top Five Award
Class of 1978
Michael J. Bourdeau
Daniel R. Mackesey
John Naber
Gifford Nielsen
Bryan L. Rodgers
Succeeded by
Willie Banks
Robert W. Dugas
Steve Fuller
Dan Harrigan
James J. Kovach
Preceded by
Alpha V. Alexander
Archie Griffin
Steve Largent
Steve Raible
Lee Roy Selmon
Wally Walker
Silver Anniversary Awards (NCAA)
Class of 2002
Richard C. Chapman
Maurice "Bo" Ellis
Herman Frazier
Betsy King
John Naber
Rodney E. Slater
Succeeded by
Debbie Brown
Ann Meyers Drysdale
Dale Kramer
Kenneth MacAfee
Warren Moon
Gifford Nielsen