William McChesney Martin

William McChesney Martin

Class of 1982


Career Achievements

Contributions to Tennis

  • President of the National Tennis Foundation
  • Chairman of the International Tennis Hall of Fame

Off the Court

  • Chairman of the Federal Reserve Board 1951-70
Citizenship: USA Born: December 17, 1906 in St. Louis, Missouri Died: July 27, 1998

While the world-at-large recognized William McChesney Martin, Jr. for his stature in serving the United States government, the tennis world recognized him for his timeless generosity in fostering a healthy game in a myriad of administrative functions.

Martin’s backhand didn’t make him a prominent historical figure; he left that distinction to the great Don Budge. The Yale University graduate, schooled in English and Latin, was the ninth and longest-serving Chairman of the United States Federal Reserve. His tenure spanned from April 2, 1951 until January 31, 1970, and included serving under five United States Presidents.

Martin was devoted to tennis, however, and was an advocate in improving the game in a non-playing capacity. He served as President of the National Tennis Foundation and Chairman of the International Tennis Hall of Fame, overseeing the renovation and restoration of the historic Newport Casino. During his 20 years as Chairman, Martin often played tennis on a court across the street from the Federal Reserve headquarters. He became an honorary Chairman of the Hall of Fame in 1992, six years before his death. Martin was married to Cynthia Davis, the daughter of Hall of Famer Dwight Davis, for whom the Davis Cup competition is named.