Lambert, Gerard B. (1887-1967) USA

Category: OWNERS

Gerard B. Lambert, Sr. had an association with the America’s Cup that spanned the J Class years of the 1930’s and the beginning of the 12 Metre era in 1958.
In 1928 Lambert bought VANITIE, the unsuccessful Defender candidate of 1920, for the express purpose of converting her to the new J Class rule and using her as a trial horse for the four new American J Class yachts built for the 1930 Defender trials.

He was also a member of the syndicate that campaigned WEETAMOE, one of those four new boats. In 1934 Lambert was part of the syndicate that built and campaigned RAINBOW the Defender candidate that successfully dispatched one of the most competitive challengers ever, the British yacht ENDEAVOUR. During this match there was an incident in one of the races that led to controversy between the competitors. The Challenger, not believing the incident had been fairly handled, vowed never to return.

In 1935, Lambert personally took it upon himself to try and rectify the unfortunate situation by mounting an ambitious diplomatic and sporting campaign. He bought YANKEE, another unsuccessful but ultimately competitive J Class yacht, sailed her across the Atlantic in a race against his other yacht the record-breaking schooner ATLANTIC, before competing in the entire UK regatta circuit over the following Summer months. Lambert’s initiative did much to reinvigorate motivation amongst the British yachting community for international competition such that a further challenge for the Cup came in 1937. The Ranger had been outstanding in the defense trials against Gerard B. Lambert's Yankee and Chandler Hovey's Rainbow, defender three years ago. Ranger had won eight races and had not been defeated.

In 1958, Lambert was instrumental in helping get the 12 Metre COLUMBIA built for her successful defense.

Lambert built a fortune from Listerine mouthwash by making the word “Halitosis” nationally famous. He was president of the Lambert Pharmacal Company of St. Louis founded by his father. A year before the depression, he sold his share in the company for 25million dollars. He built a second fortune in the Gillette Safety Razor Company of Boston. Lambert served as president of both companies.