Don began his swimming career at Pawtucket Boys Club in the late 1940’s and early 1950’s.  During that time he won numerous New England Junior and Boys’ Club swimming titles.

Don attended Pawtucket East High School.  At East, swimming for his father Max Read, he was an All American swimmer in the 50 and 100 yard freestyle. both in 1952 and 1953.  He was ranked first in the country in the 50 free (23.6) in 1953.  In 1952 and 1953 Don ranked first in the 50 freestyle and second in the 100 yard freestyle.

In 1953 Don received a full athletic scholarship to the University of Florida.  At Florida, swimming for coach Jack Ryan, he was a member of its South Eastern Conference record breaking 400 yard freestyle relay team.  In 1954, ’55, and ’56 he was South Eastern Conference Champion in the 50 and 100 yard freestyle.  In 1957-1958 Don was named captain of the University of Florida team.

Don transferred to the University of Northern Colorado where he was the Rocky Mountain Champion in the 50 yard and 100 yard freestyle.  Don also set pool records at Northern Colorado in his sprint specialties.

At age 43 don swam the 50 yard freestyle in 23.6, ranking second in the New England all time Master’ swimmers, age 40-44.  He was a member of the 200 yard freestyle relay and the 200 medley relay national record breaking teams, age 45-49.  In the 50-54 age group, don won the 50 yard freestyle at the National Long Course Championships in Raleigh, North Carolina.

Don received his Ph.D. in 1968 at Boston University.  He is currently a professor at Worcester State College.

Donald’s father, the late Max Read, was a 1982 inductee to the Rhode Island Aquatic Hall of Fame.