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Edgar Adams

Biographical information

Medals OG
Gold 0
Silver 1
Bronze 0
Total 1
TypeCompeted in Olympic Games
Full nameEdgar Holmes•Adams
Used nameEdgar•Adams
Born7 April 1868 in Grafton, West Virginia (USA)
Died5 May 1940 in Bayville, New York (USA)
AffiliationsNYAC, New York (USA)
NOC United States


Edgar Holmes swam at the 1904 Olympics but he is best known as a journalist, editor, coin dealer and collector, and an author on numismatics. His interest in coins was piqued in the 1870s and 1880s as a child, when he saw the design of several new coins. In 1880 he was severely injured when a shotgun blast accidentally hit him in the left leg, leaving him with difficulty walking due to that leg being 4-6 inches shorter than the right leg, and requiring use of a cane for the rest of his life. To overcome this disability he took up swimming for exercise. Adams joined up with the Bath Beach Swimming Club and later swam for the Human Fish Club and the New York Athletic Club. He won the Metropolitan AAU Championship for plunging from 1902-05.

After the 1904 Olympics, Adams began writing a column on hobbies, especially coin and stamp collecting, for New York newspapers. He also began publishing articles in The Numismatist. He later became the editor and publisher of this magazine. He also worked in the newspaper trade early in his life as a compositor. Adams became prominent in the American Numismatic Association (ANA), serving on the Board of Governors. He declined election as a vice-president, which would have led to his becoming president. He also served on the Membership Committee of the New York Numismatic Club in 1910, and was a member of the Pacific Coast Numismatic Society, and the Chicago Numismatic Society. In addition to his journal articles, Adams later wrote several books on coin collecting. In 1969 the ANA named Edgar Adams to its Hall of Fame.


Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal As
1904 Summer Olympics Swimming (Aquatics) USA Edgar Adams
220 yards Freestyle, Men (Olympic) 4
440 yards Freestyle, Men (Olympic) DNS
880 yards Freestyle, Men (Olympic) 4
1 mile Freestyle, Men (Olympic) AC
4 × 50 yards Freestyle Relay, Men (Olympic) New York Athletic Club #2 4
Plunge For Distance, Men (Olympic) 2 Silver
440 yards, Handicap, Men (Olympic (non-medal)) 1

Special Notes