Jack Kramer, one of the most decorated American tennis players of the 20th century and one of the sport’s most influential ambassadors, died at his Los Angeles home Saturday, Sept. 12. He was 88.
Kramer had been diagnosed with soft tissue sarcoma, a cancer of the connective tissues, in mid-July.
The winner of three grand slam singles titles and seven doubles crowns, Kramer is thought of as one of the greatest tennis players of all time. He also helped the game flourish in his role as executive director of the Association of Tennis Professionals and with his advocacy for both professionals and amateurs to compete in open events.
Kramer and his family have been instrumental in the operation of the Los Angeles Tennis Open, and for several years during the 1980s the event was known as the Jack Kramer Open.
In addition to supporting tennis locally, Kramer helped shaped the golf landscape when he was one of three who obtained the lease on Los Serranos Country Club in 1953. Kramer became the sole owner of the Chino Hills property in 1960 and ushered in its expansion, which included an additional 18-hole course — the South Course opened in 1964 and played 7,587 yards from “Jack’s Black” tees, at the time the longest course in Southern California.
Two of Kramer’s five sons, David and Ron, still operate the course.
Kramer is a member of the Southland Golf Hall of Fame.