John Morrisey of Buffalo, New York brought us this background information on International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame inductee May Looney: May was an accomplished marathon swimmer during the 1930’s Great Depression era and the late 1940s.
May participated in the 5-10 mile Canadian National Exhibition swims between 1930-1937 and 1947-1948 (note: the race was not held between 1938-1946) as it was considered the premier marathon swimming event for women of that era.
May finished in the top five in 9 of 10 races, winning the race and setting a record in 1934 with 3 second-place finishes (1935, 1936 and 1948) and 3 third-place finishes (1932, 1937 and 1947). She also coached her niece, Bernice Looney, who was crowned the US Junior National Distance Champion in 1942 and who won the 1947 and 1948 Canadian National Exhibition swims. May and her niece competed together at the Canadian National Exhibitions in 1947 and 1948.