Emmett O. Swanson, a Minneapolis native, first entered competitive shooting (rifle and pistol) in 1923 while a student at the University of Minnesota.

Three years later, he was a national champion. Swanson, who practiced dentistry, went on to compete on two U.S. Olympic teams (as a rifle shooter at the 1948 and 1952 Olympics).

At a college meet in March of 1926, between the Universities of Minnesota, Michigan and Wisconsin Swanson set what was believed to be an intercollegiate shooting record with his score of 391 (out of a possible 400). Two months later, he won the National ROTC Gallery championship.

That was the start of a long, successful career.

In 1928, he won the DuPont Trophy for a win in the free rifle 300-meter. Two years later, he won the World Championship in kneeling free rifle with a world record.

In 1936, he won the Officers' Reserve Corps Trophy. In 1948, he became the president of the NRA — at that point, the NRA's youngest president in its first 77 years.

At the 1948 Olympics in London, he finished 10th in the men's free rifle.

He competed at the 1949 and 1952 World Championships. In 1952, held in Oslo just weeks before the 1952 Olympics, he earned a bronze medal in the 50-meter rifle kneeling position.

At the 1952 Olympics in Helsinki, he finished 18th in the men's free rifle (300 meters), 13th in the men's free rifle (50 meters) and 21st in the men's small-bore rifle.

In 1953 he earned the first-ever Hankins Memorial Trophy, for high power accomplishment, and the Meister Trophy for his performance during National Matches. He won the Meister Trophy again in 1957.

Swanson starred for the US at the 1955 Pan American Games, winning six medals, with three golds and three bronzes, all the golds in team events.


Class: 1959.

Sport: Shooting.

Teams: Two U.S. Olympic teams.