Richard Hough (USA)
Honor Swimmer (1970)
FOR THE RECORD: WORLD RECORDS: 100yd, 100m, 200yd breaststroke (1939); 300yd medley relay (held record for 10 years); AMERICAN RECORDS: 100yd breaststroke (1936, 1937, 1938, 1939); 100m, 200yd breaststroke (1939); EASTERN and INTERCOLLEGIATE CHAMPIONSHIPS: 200yd breaststroke (1938, 1939); AAU NATIONAL CHAMPION: 220yd (1939, 1940); 300yd medley relay (1937, 1938, 1939); NCAA CHAMPION: 300yd medley relay (1937, 1938, 1939); Outstanding College Swimmer of the Year: 1939.
If “Sports Illustrated” named a Silver Anniversary All-American of Swimmers who have made good, the 1964 team would have been captained by Richard R. Hough, Vice President of the American Telephone and Telegraph Company. His work on military weapons systems including guided missiles might have been predicted in 1939 when he graduated Phi Beta Kappa in Electrical Engineering from Princeton and bombed all the world indoor breaststroke records.
That year Dick Hough was voted Outstanding College Swimmer of the Year for his victories in the breaststroke and medley relay at the NCAA Championships.
Hough’s total swimming career lasted only 6 years and World War II robbed him of his chance to try for an Olympic win. From 1936, his first year of Princeton varsity swimming, until 1940 when he won his last AAU race as a post graduate, Dick Hough was king of the frog kick butterfly breaststroke.
In setting World and American records in the 100 yard, 100 meter and 200 yard breaststroke (all in 1939), he gained on all comers both below the water (orthodox) and above the water (fly). Putting them together, he set American 100 yard records in 1936, ’37, ’38, was Eastern and National Intercollegiate champion at 200 yards in 1938 and 1939, and AAU National champion at 220 yards in 1939 and ’40.
Hough was Princeton captain and middleman on Princeton’s world record 300 yard medley relay teams together with Al VandeWeghe (backstroke), and Van Oss, Park or Harper (freestyle). This relay held the world record 10 years and won both the NCAA’s and the NAAU’s each of Hough’s three varsity years at Princeton.
Dick Hough’s college coach was Howie Stepp. His mentor at Trenton, N. J. High School was Hall of Famer Al Neuschaefer.
Whether by muscle power as a swimmer or missile power as an engineer, Hall of Famer Dick Hough has made a habit of finishing out in front.