Class of 2014
Contributions to Tennis
Member of the Great Britain Davis Cup Team 1956
Captain of the Great Britain Davis Cup Team 1959-1962
Overall Record: 1-0
Doubles Record: 1-0
Many former athletes transfer successful playing careers performing in front of the camera to notable careers behind the camera. John Barrett navigated those waters expertly, taking his winning tennis game as a former Davis Cup Captain and successful junior to a preeminent role as a writer and broadcaster covering tennis for London’s Financial Times and the British Broadcasting Corporation.
Following a successful junior career, Barrett became the Royal Air Force’s tennis champion in 1950 and 1951 and competed at Wimbledon for twenty years. In 1956, he was a member of Great Britain’s Davis Cup Team and he went on to serve as the team captain from 1959-1962. His playing career was notable, competing with reputable results at all four major events, reaching the mixed doubles quarterfinals three-times at Wimbledon.
Barrett joined the BBC in 1971 and became known as the corporation's 'Voice of Tennis' until his retirement in 2006. At the time of his enshrinement into the International Tennis Hall of Fame, Barrett was only the eighth journalist enshrined. As well as working for the BBC for 35 years, Barrett also commentated for Australian, American, and Canadian networks and in 2007 was awarded a Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (MBE) for his services to broadcasting. Barrett is also one of the sport's premier historians and is a current vice-president of the All England Lawn Tennis & Croquet Club where he served on the Committee of Management of The Championships for twelve years. He is also a Vice-President of the International Lawn Tennis Club of Great Britain having previously served as Chairman from 1983-1994 and President from 2004-2008.
In his long and illustrious career, Barrett has gone from an entrepreneur, to a business executive with Slazenger, to editor of World of Tennis, and is considered the definite information reference for the sport. His writings include, Tennis and Racket Games, Play Tennis with Rosewall, a coaching manual, and From Where I Sit, a co-authored autobiography of Dan Maskell, his predecessor as Wimbledon's Voice of Tennis for BBC Television. Barrett has chronicled his native Grand Slam event, 100 Wimbledon’s - A Celebration, which is now known as Wimbledon: The Official History.
"A leader on many levels, John's lifelong passion for the sport resulted in some of its finest journalism, most compelling story-telling, and therefore some of the most important works dedicated to preserving tennis history," said Hall of Fame President Stan Smith at Barrett’s induction.
Barrett is half of the second married couple in the Hall of Fame, joining Andre Agassi and Steffi Graf. In April 1967, he married former French, Australian, and Wimbledon champion and No. 1 ranked player Angela Mortimer.
Wimbledon: QF 1960, 1961, 1966