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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Galveston in Galveston County, Texas — The American South (West South Central)
 

Peter Leroy Colombo

(December 23, 1905 - July 12, 1974)

 
 
Peter Leroy Colombo Marker image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, October 9, 2015
1. Peter Leroy Colombo Marker
Inscription. Born in Galveston, Peter Leroy Colombo overcame disabilities to become a highly accomplished lifeguard. Born in 1905, Colombo lost his hearing, speech and use of his legs at the age of seven, due to meningitis. His brothers took him to the Texas coast where he swam, regaining use of his legs, though his hearing never returned. In 1915, Colombo began to attend the Texas School for the Deaf in Austin, where he learned to read lips and communicate in sign language, and where he also continued to train in swimming. He returned to Galveston in 1921 and soon joined the Surf Toboggan Club, a group of volunteer lifeguards.
     Colombo became a hired lifeguard at the age of 18. In a time of segregation, he would go on to save hundreds from drowning, regardless of race, over a career spanning approximately 50 years. In addition, Colombo set many endurance and speed records in swimming matches, often participating in races that were up to 30 miles long. He was also a pioneer surfer on Galveston’s beaches.
     Colombo officially retired in 1967, but continued to swim and serve as a lifeguard when he was able. When Peter Leroy Colombo died in 1974, he was recognized with a moment of silence by the Texas state legislature. He had officially saved over 900 people from drowning, with many other rescues going unrecorded. In 2005, the natatorium
Peter Leroy Colombo Marker image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, October 9, 2015
2. Peter Leroy Colombo Marker
at the Texas School for the Deaf was named in his honor. Today, Peter Leroy Colombo is remembered as an individual who did not allow disabilities to limit him, risking his life to rescue hundreds along the beaches of Galveston.
 
Erected 2008 by Texas Historical Commission. (Marker Number 15133.)
 
Location. 29° 16.145′ N, 94° 49.344′ W. Marker is in Galveston, Texas, in Galveston County. Marker is at the intersection of Seawall Boulevard and 57th Street, on the right when traveling west on Seawall Boulevard. Touch for map. Marker is located at the southeast end of the Galveston Island Convention Center. Marker is at or near this postal address: 5600 Seawall Blvd, Galveston TX 77551, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. "Ducky's Beach" (about 600 feet away, measured in a direct line); Rosewood Cemetery (approx. half a mile away); Beach Invertebrates (approx. half a mile away); Galveston Seawall and Grade Raising (approx. half a mile away); The Italian Vault (approx. half a mile away); The Birds of Galveston (approx. half a mile away); Campeche / Galveston Island (approx. 0.6 miles away); Baden-Sproule House (approx. 1.6 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Galveston.
 
Also see . . .
Galveston Island Convention Center image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, October 9, 2015
3. Galveston Island Convention Center
Marker is at southeast end of the convention center

1. Leroy Colombo: The Deaf Lifeguard of Galveston Island Part I. From the East Texas Historical Journal. (Submitted on November 4, 2015.) 

2. Leroy Colombo: The Deaf Lifeguard of Galveston Island Part II. From the East Texas Historical Journal. (Submitted on November 4, 2015.) 
 
Categories. Notable Persons
 
Intersection of Seawall Boulevard and 57th Street image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, October 9, 2015
4. Intersection of Seawall Boulevard and 57th Street
View to East from Marker Location image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, October 9, 2015
5. View to East from Marker Location
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on November 4, 2015, by Duane Hall of Abilene, Texas. This page has been viewed 195 times since then and 77 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on November 4, 2015, by Duane Hall of Abilene, Texas.
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