Jack Kramer to be Honored by International Tennis Hall of Fame on (8/19/06)

 

 

 

For Immediate Release                                                         Contact                            Kat Anderson

August 16, 2006   #42-06                                                          Phone                   401-849-3990

 

JACK KRAMER TO BE HONORED  

BY INTERNATIONAL TENNIS HALL OF FAME

 

Dinner Saturday at Regent Beverly Wilshire Hotel to Salute Tennis Legend

 

LOS ANGELES, CA – On the 60th anniversary of his first U.S. singles championship, the International Tennis Hall of Fame will salute Jack Kramer Saturday, Aug. 19 at the Regent Beverly Wilshire Hotel. Cocktails are at 6:30 p.m. and dinner at 7:30. For information, call 401-849-3990.

 

Kramer, who celebrated his 85th birthday Aug. 1, was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1968. He enjoyed an unmatched and diverse career, including being a legendary player, promoter, innovator, leader, author, and television commentator.

 

Emceeing the “Salute to Jack Kramer” will be Tony Trabert, President of the International Tennis Hall of Fame and 1970 Hall of Famer. In addition, Hall of Famers Stan Smith, Vic Seixas, Dodo Cheney, Pancho Segura, and Ken Rosewall among others will be in attendance to honor Kramer.

 

At age 17, Kramer was the youngest ever to play in the Davis Cup title round. From 1940-47, he ranked in the U.S. Top 10 five times and was ranked No. 1 in the world in 1946 and ’47, when he won an incredible 23 of 24 tournaments. Overall, he was a winner of 10 Grand Slam championships, including 13 U.S. singles and doubles titles.

 

From 1979-81, the historic Los Angeles ATP (now Countrywide Classic) fundraiser event for the local United States Tennis Association Section was known as the Jack Kramer Open, the only ATP event ever to be named for a player. For more than 30 years, Kramer (and who also won the event seven times in singles and doubles) served as the event’s tournament director or referee.

 

In 1954, after being promoted as the power player of the century and holding the title of world’s professional tennis champion for seven consecutive years, Kramer switched roles, becoming a promoter himself.

 

Born in Las Vegas and raised in Los Angeles, Kramer was mentored by the equally legendary Perry T. Jones. Kramer was known as the father of “open tennis.” He devised the original Grand Prix concept for the sport in 1969 and in 1972, he was instrumental in forming the original Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) with Arthur Ashe, Donald Dell, Stan Smith, Charlie Pasarell, and others.  Kramer was the first executive director of the ATP from 1972-75, and was the leader of a landmark ATP boycott of Wimbledon in 1973 which guaranteed the right of players to control their own professional futures and livelihoods for generations to come.

 

During his unparalleled career, Kramer won the prestigious Sullivan Award, appeared on the covers of Time and Newsweek magazines, and at the millennium was selected by the Associated Press as one of the top 10 players of the 20th century.  He was also a world-renowned television commentator and analyst, most prominently at Wimbledon for the BBC, and for all of the American television networks at various times.

 

The legendary Wilson tennis racquet that bore his fabled name was the all-time best selling tennis racquet with more than 30 million copies sold worldwide during some 50 years.

 

A lifetime member of the USTA, Kramer now spends much of his time giving back to the game he loves so much by helping to raise funds for his USTA National Junior Tennis League Program in Southern California, and serving as president of the Pacific Southwest Youth Tennis Foundation. Additionally, he serves as vice chairman of the Countrywide Classic, and as an active member of the USTA Southern California Section’s Board of Directors. The balance of his vigorous professional life is spent overseeing his golf businesses in Chino Hills, Calif., located 50 miles to the east of his home in Los Angeles. In addition, he enjoys as many days as possible at the nearest thoroughbred horse racetrack where he is a well-known horse owner and racing enthusiast.

 

In 2002, the USTA bestowed one of its highest honors on Kramer who received the “Spirit of American Tennis” Award, and subsequently by the International Tennis Federation (ITF) in Paris with its most prestigious honor, the Philippe Chatrier Award.

 

Kramer has been married for 64 years to his beloved wife, Gloria. They have five sons and eight grandchildren.

 

About the International Tennis Hall of Fame

The International Tennis Hall of Fame was established in 1954 and is a non-profit institution dedicated to preserving the history of tennis, inspiring and encouraging junior tennis development, enshrining tennis heroes and heroines, and providing a landmark for tennis enthusiasts worldwide.  For more information on the International Tennis Hall of Fame and its programs, please call 401-849-3990 or visit the International Tennis Hall of Fame official website at www.tennisfame.com.

               

Contacts:   

Kat Anderson, International Tennis Hall of Fame, 401 / 849-3990

Bob Kramer, Countrywide Classic, 310 / 824-1010, ext. 230