Swartwout rowed and coxed for Middlesex School in Concord, Master of Arts, from which he graduated on June 13, 1924. At Trinity College he earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in 1928, followed by a Masters degree in Literature in 1931. That same year he was president of the Cambridge University Liberal Club.
He drew from his rowing experience to produce a locked room mystery about The Boat Race and many poems. While attending Trinity College at the University of Cambridge he became the first American to cox Cambridge University Boat Club to victory over Oxford in 1930. Swartwout was 5" 6", weighed 105 lb (48 kg), and possessed a powerful bass voice.
The Monastic Craftsman: An Inquiry into the Services of Monks to Art in Britain and in Europe North of the Alps in the Middle AgesE. Swartwout, Master of Literature
The Boat Race MurderE. A sketch of the later career of Rupert Lister Audenard, First Earl of Slype, et cetera Swartwout died in Hartismere Hospital, Eye, Suffolk, England on June 6, 1951, of esophageal cancer complicated by pulmonary tuberculosis at the age of 45.