August 24 marks the 126th birthday of Duke Paoa Kahinu Mokoe Hulikohola Kahanamoku, a legend who goes by many names—The Big Kahuna, The Godfather of Surfing, Ambassador of Aloha, and simply, The Duke.
Kahanamoku's legacy and milestone achivements are well-known and documented: He's credited for gifting the world the art and sport of surfing. He revolutionized competitive swimming by introducing the flutter kick. He then subsequently won five Olympic medals for swimming. He rescued several swimmers from drowning off Corona Del Mar, California in 1925. He was the sheriff-elect of Honolulu.
He was also a seriously handsome dude.
Like many icons, even if you weren't aware of his achievements, the Native Hawaiian had an innate quality you couldn't put your finger on: He had presence. That rare ability to just stand there and exist and command a response. Something readily on display in, well, pretty much every picture of Duke. To prove that here are photos of Duke Kahanamoku just doing stuff. (Try not to faint.)
1. Here's Duke Kahanamoku standing in front of a surfboard.
2. Here's Duke Kahanamoku standing on a surfboard.
3. Here's Duke Kahanamoku dripping wet.
4. Here's Duke Kahanamoku with the most regal beard.
5. Here's Duke Kahanamoku serenading you, playing this guitar.
6. Here's Duke Kahanamoku playing golf.
7. Here's Duke Kahanamoku playing golf while surfing BECAUSE HE'S SERIOUSLY THAT GOOD AT SURFING AND PROBABLY GOLFING LET'S BE HONEST.
8. Here's Duke Kahanamoku playing with your heart looking like the August cover of GQ.
9. Here's Duke Kahanamoku at 57 years old and still chiseled like a Hawaiian god.
10. Here's Duke Kahanamoku in a robe.
11. Here's Duke Kahanamoku in a malo.
12. Here's Duke Kahanamoku with the luckiest woman in the world on his shoulders.