You are here

Share Share Share Share Share Share Share

Jewish Women in the Olympics - Charlotte Epstein

Known as "Mother of Women's Swimming in America," Epstein founded the Women's Swimming Association and coached the Women's Olympic Swimming Team in the 1920s. Epstein was born in New York City where she became a court stenographer. In 1917, after she and a few other businesswomen expressed their desire to swim after work for exercise, Epstein formed the Women's Swimming Association to promote the health benefits of the sport. As manager and president of the WSA, Epstein guided many of its members to Olympic victory; she herself was the U.S. Women's Olympic Swimming Team's manager for the 1920, 1924, and 1928 games. Swimmers under her leadership won thirty national championships and set fifty-one world records. In 1935, Epstein chaired the swimming committee in charge of team selection at the second Maccabiah Games in Tel Aviv; the next year, she boycotted the Olympics in Berlin in protest over Nazi policies.

Charlotte Epstein
Full image

Charlotte Epstein.
Photo Credit: Robert SlaterGreat Jews in Sports, (New York, Jonathan David Publishers, Inc., 1983), p. 65.

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Jewish Women in the Olympics - Charlotte Epstein." (Viewed on January 23, 2018) <>.


Help us elevate the voices of Jewish women.

donate now

The JWA Podcast

listen now

Sign Up for JWA eNews


Discover Education Programs

Join our growing community of educators.

view programs