Charley Burns

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Charley Burns’ sports career dates back to when he was a nine-year-old on the Lore School tumbling team where he became captain and all-around points winner as a sixth-grader. He then turned to
swimming and diving, successfully competing for nearly a half-century. At Bayard Junior High, Burns was on the swim team for three years, serving as captain in 9th grade, a season during which he won
all of his diving matches. Swimming was dropped as World War II approached, so Burns competed in AAU diving while also playing three seasons of basketball at Wilmington High School where he also
lettered in track and served as leader corps captain. Burns entered the Army in 1942 and won a swimming medal in the China/Burma/India Theatre competition. He also boxed in the service going 17-1.
After the Army, Burns studied art and gave a few cartoons to Wilmington News-Journal sports editor, Al Cartwright. It opened a new chapter in Burns’ life – featured sports cartoonist. Many of his
works for the Journal are displayed proudly at the DSMHOF. Notable Burns sports caricatures: Dave Nelson, Jerome Brown, Bunny Vosters and horse racing’s Greek Song. Burns founded the Wilmington Swim Club with its swimmers and divers donating fees for youth scholarships. At age 58, Burns entered the U.S. Senior Diving Championships and captured a gold medal. His career also included coaching
gymnastics for years at the Wilmington Central YMCA. Burns was also one of the founders of the Wilmington Touch Football League in the ’60s; the league still competes. Burns is a recipient of the
Delaware Sports Writers & Broadcasters Herm Reitzes Award for his many contributions to sports in Delaware. In 1997 Burns was inducted into the Wilmington High “Wall of Fame.” His resume also
includes serving as vice-president of the DSMHOF along with many hours of volunteer service to the organization.



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