Local legend and Tennis Great Pancho Gonzales honored by the U.S. Open

Pancho Gonzales, who took Wimbledon when he was 41, taught himself to play on the Exposition Park cement courts near the Los Angeles Coliseum with a 51-cent department-store racket, a gift from his mother on his 12th birthday, according to the New York Times.

That was 40 years ago. Sixty years ago, Gonzalez won his second consecutive United States Championships title. In between those championships, he toured the county as a pro, a much less popular sport at the time.

Gonzales was the oldest of seven children born to working-class Mexican immigrants and was American tennis’s first minority champion.

And his bio is the stuff of legends, repeated and embellished: He walked 900 miles with his father from Mexico to Arizona, quit school (which high school did Pancho attend?) to play tennis and was caught burglarizing a home. He then joined the Navy only to be dishonorably discharged.

Tennis then became his life.

Early in 1995, he had chemotherapy and radiation for a tumor where his esophagus joined his stomach. Four months later, he died.

Views: 199

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

Love tennis! Pancho Gonzales certainly bit the odds. Thank you for sharing this article Eddie.

Reply to Discussion

RSS

University Park Family is the news and social network for the neighborhoods around USC and Expo Park. Stay informed. Join now!

       • Got news you think everyone should know? Blog it.

• Have a show or attending a benefit? Put it on the calendar.
• Got video of the big game? Embed it.
• Photos of your business or the school play? Upload them.

Latest Activity

USC Community Computing Center updated their profile
17 minutes ago
USC Community Computing Center posted a status
"Computer Basics Class Registration Starts Monday August 1st - Come sign up for classes!"
22 minutes ago
Hector Ramos posted photos
yesterday
Hector Ramos posted a photo
Monday
Hector Ramos posted photos
Jul 21
Hector Ramos posted photos
Jul 20
Hector Ramos posted photos
Jul 18
Hector Ramos posted photos
Jul 17

Follow us all on Twitter

© 2016   Created by University Park Family.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service