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Harry C. 'Buddy' Melges Receives Wisconsin History Maker Award | Wisconsin Historical Society

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Harry C. (Buddy) Melges Receives 2009 'Vince Lombardi Award for Distinction in Sports'

Wisconsin History Maker Award

Harry C. 'Buddy' Melges Receives Wisconsin History Maker Award | Wisconsin Historical Society
Harry C.

Harry C. 'Buddy' Melges Jr., 2009

Chairman of Melges Boat Works Harry C. "Buddy" Melges is one of five individuals honored by the Society as a 2009 Wisconsin History Maker.

The Wisconsin Historical Society celebrated the lifetime achievement of Harry C. Melges, along with four other individuals with Wisconsin ties, during the Fourth Annual History Makers Gala in Milwaukee in May 2009. Davis received The Vince Lombardi Award for Distinction in Sports.

A Wisconsin History Maker is a living individual who has recently made significant contributions to history in the state, across the nation or around the world.


Harry C. "Buddy" Melges Jr. is chairman of Melges Boat Works, founded by his father, Harry Sr., more than 60 years ago. Based in Zenda, Wisconsin, the company designs, manufactures and sells superior-built scows and sport boats around the world.

He is an internationally celebrated and respected yachtsman who is perhaps most well known as the winning helmsman on the America's Cup yacht, "America3," in 1992. During the 1964 Olympics Buddy won a bronze medal in the Flying Dutchman Class. In 1968, at the Pan Am Games, he won a gold medal, again in the Flying Dutchman. In the 1972 Olympics he won a gold medal in the Soling in Kiel, Germany. In the years that followed, Buddy won more than 60 major national and international sailing championships.

He is a member of the Lake Geneva Yacht Club, Chicago Yacht Club, Columbia Yacht Club, Milwaukee Yacht Club, Texas Corinthian Yacht Club, Little Traverse Bay Yacht Club and an honorary member of the South Shore Milwaukee Yacht Club. He is an outdoorsman, environmentalist and conservationist, serving more than 20 years as a trustee of the Delta Waterfowl, a graduate school for wildfowl ornithologists.