Joanna de Tuscan Harding
April 30, 1908|
Detroit, Michigan, United States
|Died||December 26, 2003
Los Angeles, California, United States
Born April 30, 1908, in Detroit, Michigan, de Tuscan graduated from Highland Park High School. After high school, she attended an arts and crafts school in Detroit and began designing and selling jewelry. Later she attended the Rhode Island School of Design and studied portrait painting.
de Tuscan starting fencing at age 17 while in Detroit after being introduced to Bela de Tuscan, who in 1931 became her husband. She soon won the Michigan state fencing title and became the Midwest section champion. She also was the first woman in fencing history to compete in pants. To advance her fencing, de Tuscan traveled to New York to train with Giorgio Santelli.
After the Olympics, de Tuscan fenced in exhibitions and performed in theatrical fencing with sabres in London. She was the first woman to fence sabre. She held sponsorship deals with several companies, including Maxwell House Coffee, Camel Cigarettes and Wheaties.
Upon return to the U.S., de Tuscan suffered a car accident that caused an injury to her back. During her recovery, she moved to Southern California where she later started fencing at local clubs, including the Los Angeles Athletic Club and Hollywood Athletic Club. She then began working in real estate and served as a fencing double in films. She also became first woman commander of the Los Angeles Power Squadron where she taught safety at sea courses and worked on charting for the Coast Guard.
In 2001, de Tuscan was inducted into the U.S. Fencing Hall of Fame.
- "Joanna de Tuscan Bio, Stats, and Results". Olympics at Sports-Reference.com. Retrieved September 8, 2017.
- "Joanna de Tuscan Harding" (PDF). LA84 Foundation Library Oral History.
- "Joanna de Tuscan". Women of Action Network. Retrieved September 8, 2017.
- "2001 Hall of Fame". US Fencing Hall of Fame. Retrieved September 8, 2017.
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