duke kahanamoku

The one and only Duke Kahanamoku. He wasn't actually royalty, but to Hawaii, he is. 
Photo courtesy: The Paragon Agency

15 photos of Duke Kahanamoku that are too handsome for the Internet

Duke Paoa Kahinu Mokoe Hulikohola Kahanamoku, ladies and gentlemen.

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.

duke kahanamoku
Photo National Portrait Gallery

 

2. Here's Duke Kahanamoku standing on a surfboard.

duke kahanamoku
Photo Encyclopedia of Surfing/Tom Blake

 

3. Here's Duke Kahanamoku dripping wet.

duke kahanamoku
Photo Library of Congress

 

4. Here's Duke Kahanamoku with the most regal beard.

duke kahanamoku
Photo Bettmann Collection/Wikipedia Commons

 

5. Here's Duke Kahanamoku serenading you, playing this guitar.

duke kahanamoku
Photo Chicago Historical Society/Wikipedia

 

6. Here's Duke Kahanamoku playing golf.

duke kahnamoku
Photo Los Angeles Public Library

 

7. Here's Duke Kahanamoku playing golf while surfing BECAUSE HE'S SERIOUSLY THAT GOOD AT SURFING AND PROBABLY GOLFING LET'S BE HONEST.

duke kahanamoku
Photo Los Angeles Public Library

 

8. Here's Duke Kahanamoku playing with your heart looking like the August cover of GQ.

duke kahanamoku
Photo Library of Congress

 

9. Here's Duke Kahanamoku at 57 years old and still chiseled like a Hawaiian god.

duke kahanamoku
Photo Duke University/Wikipedia Commons

 

10. Here's Duke Kahanamoku in a robe.

duke kahanamoku
Photo Bettmann Collection/Wikipedia Commons

 

11. Here's Duke Kahanamoku in a malo.

duke kahanamoku
Photo Library of Congress

 

12. Here's Duke Kahanamoku with the luckiest woman in the world on his shoulders.

duke kahanamoku
Photo The Paragon Agency

 

13. Here's Duke Kahanamoku five seconds away from dropping the hottest mixtape of the year.

duke kahanamoku
Photo Library of Congress

 

14. Here's Duke Kahanamoku smiling.

duke kahanamoku
Photo Bettmann Collection/Wikipedia Commons

 

15. Here's Duke Kahanamoku gazing into your soul.

duke
Photo courtesy: Library of Congress