L. John Lauber, Jr., saved Margaret Wallace from drowning, St. Louis, Missouri, February 14, 1963. Miss Wallace, 36, dropped 80 feet from Eads Bridge into the Mississippi River, where she lost consciousness but floated at the surface while being carried downstream in deep water. Lauber, 18, department store clerk, ran 400 feet to the water’s edge, followed by a companion who could not swim. Removing his shoes and jacket, Lauber waded into the river and swam toward Miss Wallace. The below-freezing water took his breath away momentarily, and his limbs became tired as he swam 50 feet to Miss Wallace 70 feet from the bank. Lauber took hold of her by the hair and towed her to within 50 feet of the bank, where about 20 persons had gathered. Shaking with cold and doubting that he could maintain his hold on Miss Wallace, Lauber called for assistance. When none of the others entered the water, Lauber’s companion waded to a point 30 feet from the bank. Holding Miss Wallace with one arm, Lauber with effort towed her 20 feet farther. He was breathing heavily when he reached his companion, who helped him take Miss Wallace to the bank. Others aided them from the water. Miss Wallace was removed to a hospital and revived, but she died later of internal injuries.
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