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WNYC Promotes Health and Wellness with Olympian Joe Ruddy

WNYC History Notes Vol. 2, Issue 32

Friday, December 23, 2011 - 11:00 AM

Keeping Fit was a regular series of  health and exercise talks by Joe Ruddy on WNYC in 1926.

Joseph Aloysius Ruddy, Sr. (1878-1962) was a freestyle swimmer and water polo wonder who earned two gold medals at the 1904 Olympics. A sports writer once described him as "the Babe Ruth, the Jack Dempsey and the Jim Thorpe of that quaint aquatic mayhem known as water polo." During his career he garnered more than 800 awards and saved 200 people from drowning. He also spent a year (1940-1941) in Sing Sing prison for taking "unlawful fees" in a job selling racket when he was a physical examiner for the Municipal Civil Service Commission. During his sentencing hearing, Ruddy produced character references from two judges and W.C. Fields, who wrote "If my lovable, honest, honorable friend, Joe Ruddy, has inadvertently dropped a wild oat, it has been on his heartfelt contrition for others. He has played fair and square and hard in most of the athletic sports known to he-men, and when his life is written, it will be a textbook and inspiration to young America."

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Broadcast on WNYC Today in:

1924: Colonel James Churchward relates Jungle Tales for the Kiddies. Editor's Note: Churchward was a former British officer who believed that all mankind could be traced back to a lost continent of Mu, below the Pacific Ocean. More on Mu, WNYC and Churchward in a future edition of this publication!

1937: Interview with Virginia Douglas, who as a little girl wrote to The New York Sun asking if there was a Santa Claus. See: ANNOTATIONS.

1945: Mayor LaGuardia narrates a Christmas program with the Collegiate Chorale conducted by Robert Shaw.

1950: Host Albert Arkus presents the ballet movement from Debussy's Petite Suite on The Music Maestro.

1964: Mayor Robert Wagner delivers his Christmas message and holds a press conference.

2002: The Brian Lehrer show discusses The Virginian, Owen Wister's 1902 epic Western, considered the Beloved of a century ago — a bestseller that was popular with critics, too. The story of a cowboy who fights for the honor of the woman he loves inspired six movies and helped establish the genre.

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Mission Statement: The New York Public Radio Archives supports the mission and goals of WNYC and WQXR by honoring the broadcast heritage of the radio stations and preserving their organizational and programming legacy for future generations of public radio listeners. The Archives will collect, organize, document, showcase and make available for production all original work generated by and produced in association with WNYC and WQXR Radio.

The NYPR Archives serves the stations staff and producers by providing them with digital copies of our broadcast material spanning WNYC and WQXR's respective 90 and 77 year histories.  We also catalog, preserve and digitize, provide reference services, store, and acquire WNYC and WQXR broadcast material (originals and copies) missing from the collection. This repatriation effort has been aided by dozens of former WNYC and WQXR staff as well as a number of key institutions. Additionally, our collecting over the last ten years goes beyond sound and includes photos, publicity materials, program guides, microphones, coffee mugs, buttons and other ephemera. We've left no stone unturned in our pursuit of these artifacts. The History Notes is a showcase for many of these non-broadcast items in our collection. 

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