Gladys Heldman

Born:
May 13, 1922
Died:
June 22, 2003
Place of Birth:
New York, New York
United States
Citizenship:
United States
Induction Category:
Contributor
Year of Induction:
1979

Gladys Heldman’s tough-mindedness, firm convictions, bold thinking, idealism and humor made her a powerful force in tennis. In 1953, she founded World Tennis, “a magazine written by and for the players.” In 1970, she played a key role in creating a women’s professional circuit, signing up nine leading players-including Billie Jean King, Rosie Casals, Nancy Richey, and her own daughter, Julie-to $1 contracts, convincing Joe Cullman, another Hall of Famer, to bring in Virginia Slims as a sponsor. The women’s pro tour was launched in 1971.

Contributions

  • Founder, Owner, Publisher, Editor-In-Chief, and Writer for World Tennis magazine
  • Co-Founder of the Virginia Slims Circuit