Wisconsin Athletic Hall of Fame: Tommy Bartlett

© Photographed August 14, 2016
Inducted 2003
Presented by Mercury Marine, Wisconsin Water Ski Federation
and The Wisconsin Dells Convention & Visitors Bureau
Wisconsin Athletic Hall of Fame
Milwaukee, Milwaukee County, Wisconsin
43.042288, -87.916127
43° 2.55′ N, 87° 54.967′ W
Google Map

TOMMY BARTLETT
is credited with building the Wisconsin Dells tourism industry and turning the sport of water skiing into art and entertainment. Bartlett began his career as a Milwaukee radio announcer at the age of 13 and later originated the first call-in radio talk show in 1935 at KMOX in St. Louis. His broadcasting career included work for 10 radio stations and ABC, CBS and NBC TV networks. Bartlett turned his show business talent to the creation of water ski shows after seeing a performance of the sport at the Chicago Railroad Fait in 1949. In the early 1950s, Bartlett produced as many as four water ski shows simultaneously throughout the United States, Canada and the Far East. The ski shows performed at four world's fairs, were part of the President's Cultural Exchange Program and toured with the USO. In 1953, Wisconsin Dells became a permanent show site for the Tommy Bartlett Show and Bartlett became an icon. Synonymous with water sport spectacles, Bartlett was inducted into the Water Ski Hall of Fame in 1993.
The marker is located at the Wisconsin Athletic Hall of Fame at the UW-Milwaukee Panther Arena, and is accessible from southbound North 4th Street, between West State Street (to the north) and West Kilbourn Avenue (to the south), at or near 400 West Kilbourn Avenue, Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53203.

Inductees honored at this site are members of the Wisconsin Athletic Hall of Fame (established 1951). The Wisconsin Athletic Walk of Fame is a joint property of Wisconsin Sports Development Corporation and Wisconsin Center District.


Wisconsin Athletic Hall of Fame

Click here for an Alphabetical List of Inductees to the Wisconsin Athletic Hall of Fame.

Use the "Wisconsin Athletic Hall of Fame" label below to view all markers at this location; there are more than 100.





 The marker is located at the Wisconsin Athletic Hall of Fame.


The Wisconsin Athletic Hall of Fame is located at the
UW-Milwaukee Panther Arena. 

The Wisconsin Athletic Hall of Fame is located on the east side
of the UW-Milwaukee Panther Arena in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

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