Helen Cassidy was born in Hilo, Hawaii and attended Punahou School in Honolulu. In 1920, she qualified for the U.S. Olympic Swim Team and went to Antwerp, Belgium, as Hawaii's first woman Olympian. She married Charles E. Cassidy in 1930. Mr. Cassidy was a well-known football player at Cornell University and later coached teams in Hawaii, where he became an Associate Justice of the Hawaii Supreme Court.
Helen's painting career started in the 1940's when she tried to interest her daughter in painting and ended up being the one taking lessons. She studied under Lloyd Sexton and other well-known local artists. After the death of her husband, she moved to Waimea on Hawaii Island where she continued to paint and show her works at the Kona Arts Center in Waimea.
Helen passed away on April 8, 1995.
Helen M. Cassidy was instrumental in establishing the Waimea Arts Council over 30 years ago, and they have an annual Memorial Juried Art Show in her name.