Mary Kendall Browne thread -
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old Oct 26th, 2014, 08:30 AM Thread Starter
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Mary Kendall Browne thread

BROWNE, MARY ( Mary Kendall Browne ). Married name : KENNETH SMITH
United States
Born : June 3, 1891
Died : August 19, 1971
Married Kenneth Kenneth-Smith in June 1958, later divorced
Nickname: “Brownie”
Height: 5’ 2” (according to Alan Little)
Very often listed as Mary K Browne
World highest ranking : 6
Year of induction in the International Tennis Hall of Fame : 1957

3 time US Nationals Champion (1912-1914)-she was an all around sportswoman who also reached the top ranks in golf. Browne was RU at the US Nationals in 1921, also reaching the finals at the French Chmps in 1926. Later in the year Brownie turned pro and toured with Suzanne Lenglen, making her the first US woman to make a living openly as a professional tennis player.

This first part comes from LKK's thread here >>


Mary K. Browne was born in California in 1891. In 1912, she won the first of three successive U.S. Women's Championships in tennis. Between 1912 and 1926, she was a five-time U.S. Women's Doubles Champion, four-time U.S. mixed doubles Champion and the Wimbledon Doubles Champion. Some of her partners included Bill Tilden, Helen Willis and Elizabeth Ryan. She ranked as the number one player in women's tennis for twoyears. She was also a captain of the U.S. Wightman Cup team for two years.

In 1926, Browne accepted an offer from C.C. Pyle to play against Suzanne Lenglen in the very first tennis tour. During the 1920s and 1930s, she also won several golf championships, including the Southern California Women's Championship, the Ohio State title and the Cleveland Championship four times.

From 1930 until 1951, Browne was a part-time tennis instructor at Lake Erie College except during World War II when she served with the American Red Cross in Australia and Italy.

While at Lake Erie College, she devised the tennis game of Battleboard Tennis with the first backboard installed in Ritchie Gymnasium. She was also responsible for many outstanding tennis players coming to Lake Erie College for exhibition matches and invitational tournaments. She was an author of three respected tennis texts. Because of her worldwide tennis accomplishments, she was enshrined in the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1957 in Newport, Rhode Island. Later Browne became a very successful and much sought-after portrait painter. After her very active tennis and golf career, she returned to California where she died in August 1971.

It is indeed fitting that Mary K. Browne be inducted into the Lake Erie College Athletic Hall of Fame posthumously on April 26, 1991.


Runner-up : 1926

Semi-Finalist : 1926 ( with Elizabeth RYAN )

WINNER : 1926 ( with Elizabeth RYAN )

Runner-up : 1926 ( with Howard KINSEY )

WINNER : 1912,1913,1914
Runner-up : 1921
Semi Finalist : 1924,1926

WINNER : 1912,1913,1914,1921,1925
- 1912 with Dorothy GREEN BRIGGS
- 1913,1914,1921 with Louise RIDDELL WILLIAMS DUDLEY
- 1925 with Helen WILLS
Runner-up : 1926 ( with Charlotte CHAPIN )
Semi Finalist : 1924 ( with Louise RIDDEL WILLIAMS DUDLEY )

WINNER : 1912,1913,1914,1921,1922
- 1912 with Richard WILLIAMS
- 1913,1914,1922 with Bill TILDEN
- 1921 with Bill JOHNSTON

WINNER : 1914
Runner-up : 1912

WINNER : 1926 ( with Elizabeth RYAN )

WINNER : 1926
Runner-up : 1925

3 consecutive triple crowns in the U.S. Championships ( 1912,1913,1914 ).
Record shared with Hazel HOTCHKISS WIGHTMAN ( 1909,1910,1911 ) and Alice MARBLE ( 1938,1939,1940 )


WINNER : 1924

WINNER : 1931

WINNER : 1931,1932,1934,1935

WINNER : year ??

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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old Oct 26th, 2014, 08:47 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Mary Kendall Browne thread

Mary BROWNE and Suzanne LENGLEN, Pro Tour 1927.

Mary BROWNE and Suzanne LENGLEN.

July 2, 1926 - Wimbledon final : Evelyn COLYER/Kathleen Mc KANE - Mary BROWNE/Elizabeth RYAN.

Molla MALLORY and Mary BROWNE. 26 U.S. Championships titles on that pic !

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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old Oct 27th, 2014, 01:56 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Mary Kendall Browne thread

Joan FRY LAKEMAN and Mary BROWNE, Wightman Cup.

Mary BROWNE signing contract, 1926.

Elizabeth RYAN and Eleanor GOSS against Helen WILLS and Mary BROWNE, Brookline 1925.

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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old Nov 6th, 2014, 10:18 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Mary Kendall Browne thread


1913 : 1
1914 : 1

1921 : 2
1924 : 2
1925 : 6

Last edited by djoule; Nov 21st, 2014 at 12:28 AM.
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old Nov 20th, 2014, 11:27 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Mary Kendall Browne thread

Mary BROWNE - WORLD TOP TEN RANKINGS ( Wallis MYERS - first rankings in 1921 )

1921 : 3
1922 : --
1923 : --
1924 : 5
1925 : --
1926 : 6
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old Apr 26th, 2016, 04:23 AM
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Re: Mary Kendall Browne thread

In 1912 Mary won the US Mixed Doubles with Richard Norris Williams. Just months earlier Williams had barely survived the sinking of the the Titanic!

The doctor had actually wanted to amputate his legs.

Titanic survivor who became a champion | Sport | The Guardian

Titanic survivor who became a champion
Mark Tallentire

Roger Federer may be the first Swiss to win a grand slam tournament in the open era, but a player born in Geneva did manage to win one of tennis's major trophies - and by a far more hazardous route.

Richard Norris Williams was born in January 1891 and after an education in France and Switzerland - and as a decent tennis player - he was offered a place at Harvard. Thus the young man and his father Charles boarded the Titanic in Cherbourg in April 1912 and headed for the United States, where Richard planned to play a few tournaments before starting his studies.

Travelling first class - tickets cost £61 7s 7d - the Williamses were obviously accustomed to the better things in life, but like most on board they were soon swimming for their lives. His father did not survive but Richard reached a half-submerged life raft and clung to it until he was picked up by a lifeboat and then by the liner Carpathia. Only 11 out of about 30 on the raft were alive when help arrived and the Carpathia's doctor wanted to amputate Williams's cold-damaged legs.

He refused and returned to Europe, aboard the France, in the May to exercise daily and convalesce. However, he soon returned to the US, took up his place at Harvard and, incredibly, managed to win the US Open mixed doubles that year with Mary Browne.

In 1913 he was the beaten finalist in the singles, by which time he was a naturalised American playing in the Davis Cup team, which he captained to seven wins in a 13-year career. He went one better in 1914 and 1916 when he won the US Open singles, the latter on the grass at Forest Hills. After the first world war he won the men's doubles in 1920 at Wimbledon, where he was also a finalist in 1924, the same year he took Olympic gold.

More on Norris and that memorable night from wikipedia.

RMS Titanic

Williams also gained fame as being a survivor of the RMS Titanic disaster in April 1912. He and his father, Charles Duane Williams, were traveling first class on the liner when it struck an iceberg and sank. Shortly after the collision, Williams freed a trapped passenger from a cabin by breaking down a door. He was reprimanded by a steward, who threatened to fine him for damaging White Star Line property, an event that inspired a scene in James Cameron's film Titanic (1997). Williams remained on the doomed liner almost until the very end. At one point Williams' father tried to get a steward to fill his flask. The flask was given to Williams and remains in the Williams family.

After being washed overboard by a wave that also took off Colonel Archibald Gracie and Second Officer C. H. Lightoller, along with several others, the 21-year-old Williams made his way to the Collapsible A Lifeboat holding on to its side for quite a while before getting in. When Williams entered the water he was wearing a fur coat which he quickly discarded along with his shoes. Those in Collapsible A who survived were transferred to Lifeboat 14 by Fifth Officer Lowe. Although abandoned by the Carpathia, Collapsible A was recovered a month later. Amazingly, on board the lifeboat was the discarded fur coat which was returned to Williams by White Star.[7]

Even after entering the lifeboat he spent several hours knee-deep in freezing water. RMS Carpathia arrived on the scene to rescue survivors. (His father was lost in the disaster.) The ordeal left his legs so severely frostbitten that the Carpathia's doctor wanted to amputate them. Williams, who did not want his tennis career to be cut short, opted instead to work through the injury by simply getting up and walking around every two hours, around the clock. The choice worked out well for him: later that year, he won his first U.S. Tennis Championship, in mixed doubles, and went on to win many more championships. He also won the Davis Cup with fellow survivor Karl Behr.

It was not until after the publication of A Night to Remember (1955), a book about the Titanic disaster, that Williams became acquainted with its author Walter Lord. In 1962, Williams met with Lord and gave a detailed account of the sinking. Although it has been reported that his father, among others, was crushed by the falling forward smokestack, and that he barely escaped that fate, Williams does not mention that in his talk with Lord.

And the most detailed link:

Visit us at the Blast From The Past: Where Tennis History Lives!
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old May 15th, 2016, 10:48 PM
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Re: Mary Kendall Browne thread

To be aware of Mary Browne's value as a player, it's worth remembering her results when she played a lot of matches with Molla Mallory during WW1. Those were exhibitions, but their H2H ended in favour of Browne. It's fair to believe she was up there with Mallory, Hotchkiss and Sutton among the best players of the USA before the rise of Helen Wills.
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