PATRICIA HENRY YEOMANS


In a career spanning 70 years, Patricia Henry Yeomans (b.1917) spearheaded many of the century’s tennis milestones. The daughter of California champion Corinne Stanton and sportswriter Bill Henry, Yeomans was a tennis natural, winning the national junior title in 1935. At Occidental College she worked her way to No. 1 on the men’s freshman team before being banned from competition. She swept the College Girls’ Invitational in 1936 and 1937, the ‘unofficial’ intercollegiate tournament of the era.

Involved in every level of tennis from juniors to seniors, Yeomans helpedHelen Lewis organize the first sanctioned women’s collegiate championship in 1958 and pioneered tournament play for 50-and-over age groups. With tennis official Joseph Bixler and former champion Jack Kramer, Yeomans began lobbying in 1972 to bring tennis back to the Olympics. Her dream was achieved in 1984 when tennis premiered at the L.A. Olympics and was approved as a full medal sport for the ’88 Games.
Career Highlights

  • U.S. Champion Girls’ 18 Singles 1935
  • U.S. Hard Court Champion Girls’ 18 Doubles 1935
  • College Girls’ Invitational Singles and Doubles Champion 1936, 1937 (tournament organized by Hazel Wightman)
  • B.A. ’38 Occidental College, Phi Betta kappa; M.A.’41 California Graduate School of Design
  • Organized and directed youth tennis program, Los Angeles Tennis Club (LATC) 1953-1973
  • Winner of the USTA Service Bowl 1956
  • Assisted Helen Lewsi in launching women’s national collegiate championships 1958; donated collegiate doubles trophy
  • Chair, USTA Junior Wightman Cup Committee 1956-1974
  • Led efforts for return of tennis as an Olympic medal sport 1972-1988
  • Pioneered senior women’s hard court tennis for 50s, 60s, 65s, 70s, 75s, 80s from 1970-1992
  • U.S. Hard Court Champion Women’s 50 Singles, Doubles 1970
  • U.S. Indoor Champion Women’s 60 Singles, Doubles 1978, 1979
  • U.S. Hard Court Champion Women’s 60 Doubles, 1979
  • Chair, U.S. Women’s 65-70-75-80 hard court events, LATC 1979-1980
  • Founder, California Grand Jurors Association 1982; President 1994-1996
  • Co-founder, SCTA ‘Youth vs. Experience’ Tournament 1988
  • ‘Woman of the Year’ Award 1988, John Townsend Award 1999, First Baptist Church of Los Angeles
  • U.S. Hard Court Champion Women’s 70 Doubles 1989
  • U.S. Hard Court Finalist Women’s 80 Singles 1998
  • U.S. Hard Court Finalist Women’s 80 Doubles 1999
  • Member, International Society of Olympic Historians
  • Author of numerous books and brochures, including Behind the Headlines with Bill Henry (1972); Southern California Centennial Champions 1887-1987; History and Heritage of Los Angeles Tennis Club 1920-1995

Deceased: 3/13/2013