deTuscan, Joanna

Joanna deTuscan is the first American woman ever to hold a World Foil title which she won in 1939 in London capturing the World Professional Foil title.

Joanna was also the 1936 US National Foil champion and a 1936 Olympian.  A Hall of Famer, she received so much press that she was paid to advertise forWheaties, Camel Cigarettes and Maxwell House Coffee, to name the best of them.

From the article:

Mrs. de Tuscan FJ_deTuscan.jpgirst in Women’s Olympics
By Mrs. Lewis B. Funke

Mrs. Joanna de Tuscan, the Middle West’s outstanding swordswoman rose to unexpected heights last night as she emerged victorious from a field of seventeen candidates in the fifth of the series of Olympic tryouts conducted on the strips of the Fencer’s Club.

Fencing with admirable skill and daring, the Detroit star forced a triple-tie by an amazing 5-4 victory over the former national champion, Miss Marion Lloyd of the Salle D’Armes Vince, in the final round-robin and went on to beat Miss Lloyd again 5-1, and Miss Carol Alessandroni of the home club 5 to 3 in the extra set of bouts.

The victor earned her laurels not only by out fencing her rivals but also through a credible display of nerve control and courage. Miss Lloyd had won six of her seven bouts when she faced the visitor, who has been here bidding, waiting for a chance to go to Berlin. Mrs. de Tuscan had won 5 of 7, and Miss Alessandroni 6 of 8 bouts. A victory from her would throw the trio into a triple tie, which is just what happened.

Miss Lloyd took a 2-0 lead and appeared to have the situation under complete control. But the tenacity of her opponent had still to be reckoned. A time thrust and a brilliant remise knotted the count and then Mrs. de Tuscan took the lead with her third strait touch. Another attack sent the score to Miss Lloyd, fighting desperately, evened the count but her opponent had the needed strength to tally on a direct attack.

Same Rivals Meet Again

A short rest intervened and these two rivals again were summoned to the strip. This time, however, Miss Lloyd had lost her poise. To tense from the first engagement she could not regain the competitive spirit to offer a strong fight. Mrs. de Tuscan, sensing her advantage swept through with ease, allowing only one touch to reach her jacket.

Against Miss Alessandroni, the third bout in half an hour for Mrs. de Tuscan, she continued her superb exhibition, winning 5 to 3. Miss Lloyd took second place by beating Miss Alessandroni 5 to 3.

A good deal of commendation must go to the youthful Miss Alessandroni. One of the most promising of the foilswomen, she vindicated this judgment completely with her showing.

Joanna with her husband Bela:
deTuscan, Joanna


Here is an example of how much attention she received in the media as her divorce made the front page along with news of the Nazis;
deTuscan, Joanna