Last NameSportCountryYear Inducted

Field: Tennis
Inducted: 2001
Country: United States
Born: May 13, 1922 in New York, New York
Died: July 2003

Gladys Heldman was a prime mover in the stimulation and development of American tennis through the pages of World Tennis magazine, which she founded and served as editor and publisher. The magazine first appeared in 1953, having been published originally for five years under the name Houston Tennis. (She sold the magazine to CBS Publications in 1972.)

Heldman was a key organizer of the Virginia Slims Tennis Tour, the first allwomen’s tennis circuit. Rushing in “where wise men feared to tread,” Heldman underwrote the 1959 National (U.S.) Indoor Championships when the United States Lawn Tennis Association
decided that such an undertaking for the Association was financially unsound.

The entire Heldman family—husband Julius, and daughters Julie and
Carrie—has played a prominent role in American tennis. Daughter Julie, ranked number 2 in the United States in 1968 and 1969, fifth in the world in 1969. She won the Maccabiah Games Singles, Doubles with Marilyn Aschner, and Mixed Doubles with Ed Rubinoff
in 1969.

Phi Beta Kappa and first in her class at Stanford University (BA 1942), with a masters degree at the University of California Berkeley (1943), Heldman was, herself, a promising tennis star. She ranked No. 1 in the State of Texas and No. 2 in the Southwest in 1954, and that same year played in the early rounds at Wimbledon.

In 1979, Heldman was elected to the International Tennis Hall of Fame.


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