The son of an Olympic champion, Jack Kelly followed his father as an outstanding American rower. 


The winner of the Sullivan Award as the outstanding amateur athlete in the United States in 1947, Kelly won the Diamond Sculls event at England’s Henley Regatta in both 1947 and 1949, an event in which his father had been prohibited from competing in 1920.  He competed in the Olympic Games four times, and won two Pan-American Games gold medals, in 1955 (single sculls) and 1959 (doubles).


Kelly was elected member of Philadelphia’s City Council, and was active throughout his life as a benefactor for civic projects in the Philadelphia area.  He served as president of the Amateur Athletic Union, was vice-president of the U.S. Olympic Committee, and was president of the International Swimming Hall of Fame.