Born: September 16, 1940
in St. Louis, Missouri
With his enshrinement into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 2005, Earl Henry “Butch” Buchholz was recognized for his playing and promotional excellence.
Buchholz was a tremendous junior player, winning three Boys' Singles majors in row, capturing the French and Wimbledon in 1958 and adding the Australian in 1959. He became an accomplished amateur player, rising to No. 5 in the world in 1960. He reached the semifinals of the U.S. National Men’s Singles Championships in 1960 and proved he was no easy-out at the Australian National Men’s Singles Championships and the Wimbledon Gentlemen’s Singles Championships, advancing to the quarterfinal at Melbourne (1969) and in London (1960, 1968). Ranked four times in the U.S. Top 10, Buchholz played for the U.S. Davis Cup Team from 1959–60, compiling a 6-3 record.
Buchholz turned professional in 1961 and a year later won the United States Pro Championship by beating Pancho Segura in the finals, 6-4, 6-3, 6-4. Buchholz holds the distinction of being a member of Lamar Hunt's Handsome Eight, a group of players signed by in 1968 for the newly formed professional World Championship Tennis (WCT).
The second segment of Buchholz’s career in tennis came as the Commissioner of World Team Tennis (1977-1978), Executive Director of the Association of Tennis Professionals (1981-82), and member of the men's pro council (1981-1983). In 1985, Buchholz founded the Lipton International Players Championships in Delray Beach, Florida. It quickly became a premier event on both the men's and women's tours; the event is now known as the Miami Open.
“In 1971 I knew my playing days were over,” Buchholz said to atpworldtour.com. “I was 29 years old, scared, and confused. I didn’t know what I was going to do, so I went back to St. Louis. I knew I wanted to stay in tennis, so I built a 10-court indoor club called ‘Town and Tennis’. I worked all day and night doing whatever needed to be done, just trying to learn. At that stage if someone would have asked me what ‘cash flow’ was I would have told them it was probably when money fell out of someone’s wallet and flowed down a river!”
Buchholz helped create Altenis, a management company which oversees tennis tournaments in Latin America and helped keep the Orange Bowl, the preeminent tournament for juniors, going in Florida. Buchholz was inducted into the St. Louis Sports Hall of Fame in 2010.