Was Dick Blumenthal really captain of Harvard’s Varsity Swim Team?

Relaxing after (belatedly) filing suit against Big Tobacco

My earlier post questioning whether this load actually was captain of Harvard’s swim team has produced memories from the class of ’67 that remembered him once winning an intramural swim event but other than that, nada. It’s not a huge deal – who cares what someone did or didn’t do forty years ago, but if he’s being dishonest, it does say a lot about the man.

My father told me that when he showed up at Yale in 1923  the senior rowers made freshmen line up by height and, since he was the shortest guy in his class, he was made coxswain on the rowing team. No further qualification than that.

I told my own kids that the only reason I was a second-string half back on my prep school’s soccer team was that the school was too small to support a third-string.

I’m not sure our honesty makes my father and me more honorable men than Blumenthal, but there’s something desperately needy about a 64-year-old man lying about his collegiate athletic prowess, if indeed he is lying.

So Harvard ’67s – can you dig around old yearbooks and see if this face-lifted lightweight ever swam for Harvard?

UPDATE: Ooh ooh ooh! He wasn’t elected captain unless he changed his name to Peter Alter. Bad boy, Dickie!!!

Complete list of captains here. No Dick

UPDATE II: Another claim to have been captain.


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23 responses to “Was Dick Blumenthal really captain of Harvard’s Varsity Swim Team?

  1. Anonymous

    The earlier post clarified everything.

    He was anchor of an intra-mural (that’s Harvard Talk for one dormitory against another) swim rely race.

    Varsity athletes don’t participate in that low level of sport.

    And you can take it from a guy that actually sat next to Don Schollander in a tax policy class taught by Ronald Reagan at Yale, Dec. 1967.

  2. Oh Captain My Captain

    Stop flogging this Dick. He has a right to be a self promoting showman and media hog. Dick has served as a Marine and likes hanging with the boys. That’s Senator Blumenthal to you, you weiner. When I was doing laps in the pool, you were a paperboy in Riverside. Now we will see who keeps making the headliner realy boy.

    -Big swinging Dick

  3. Author, Author

    Dick spent more time in the Crimson behind a typewriter than he did in the pool. There you can make headlines up. Most Harvard people really embelish their bios, why should Dick be any different.


  4. w b h

    Re: the Ronald Reagan clip. Thanks so much for posting that. No teleprompter. No vocalized pauses. Quiet, competent discussion. How refreshing.

  5. The Duke of Deception

    Blumenthal is an asshat, but if he graduated in ’67 wouldn’t you want to know who was elected captain in the spring of ’66?

  6. Anonymous

    Seems as though he may not even have been a member of the Harvard Swim team


  7. Captain Morgan - Dick's Favorite Drink


    If it wasn’t written, it wasn’t done. I think Dick was just the waterboy on that team. Who has time to be Captain, Crimson editor, Phi Beta Kappa, bio inflation I think?

  8. Anonymous

    Thanks for that link Anon at 10:37. He’s not listed in the “All Time Letter Winners” list there either.

    It looks like he claimed the varsity membership back in 1977 in a NY Times interview, but he’s never been called a captain in the Times.


  9. anon at 8:04

    The Harvard Yale swim meet that year, the season finale, was won by Yale 60-35.

    Schollander anchored the 400 freestyle relay, with a time of 45.4 and a team total time of 3:05, two seconds under the American record.

    His opponent was not our AG. On the other hand, where is Schollander now?

    wiki: Schollander resides in Lake Oswego, Oregon where he runs Schollander Development, a real estate development company:

  10. Anonymous

    There’s gotta be a “-gate” phrase that would fit here, but I’m damned if I can come up with one.

    Captain-gate? Varsity-gate? No. Sorry. Lame, lame, lame.

    Help me out here guys!

  11. Anonymous


    “…anchor Richard Blumenthal did a 1:36.7–average splits of 24 plus–to win by over half the pool….

    “The only excitement of the evening was provided by an unidentified Cliffie who entered the gallery at the IAB pool about halfway through the meet.

    “Ten minutes later, when she noticed that many of the House swimmers were not wearing suits, she left.”

    So the real question here is this: did Blumenthal wear a suit in this competition or didn’t he?

    And if not, why not?

    Inquiring minds want to know the answer to these questions before casting their vote for US Senator from Connecticut.

  12. anon at 8:04

    Well that raises certain questions about cliffies.

    If she went to a swim meet, and it took her 10 minutes to notice the house swimmers were not wearing suits, just what was she doing there, and why?

    • For a Cliffie of that era, I think that just ten minutes to discover what, exactly, she was looking at was probably a speed record. She had a brother at home, perhaps. Pattern recognition.

  13. Teri Buhl

    Good reporting here Chris. Just shows how much we need our local CT blogers to get into the gritty details of a story. From my view interviews with Dick – he just doesn’t have the street experience I would want in our next senator. Think about it -where was he when we had hedgie fraud rampant in CT – what big wall street fraud cases has he ever brought much less won??

  14. JJ

    Wow, that Ronnie clip was so refreshing. Who’s for cloning now? Thanks for posting it.

  15. anon at 8:04


    Fastansy Swim Meet
    Yale vs. Harvard
    Scholland vs. Blumenthal now posted:


  16. Pingback: Blumenthal lies again « For What It’s Worth

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  19. Donald Liberatore

    I play golf with close friend of mine, who informed me of this information. He stated that it appears to be ‘untrue’ because he plays tennis with the person who was the captain. Another inaccuracy!!!
    Does it say a lot about a politicians character???!!!!????