In Memoriam: Jane Brown Grimes, former USTA President
Jane Brown Grimes, who served as USTA President from 2007-08, passed away at the age of 80 on Tuesday at her home in New York City.
Just the second woman to hold the position of USTA President, Brown Grimes displayed a tremendous passion for our sport that allowed her to make a significant impact in a variety of roles. Across a brilliant career that spanned nearly half a century, the International Tennis Hall of Famer also served as the Executive Director, President and CEO of the International Tennis Hall of Fame, as well as the Managing Director of the Women’s Professional Tennis Council, helping to shape the WTA into the global success story that it is today.
“Jane devoted her life to the sport of tennis, and the sport benefited greatly from her intelligence, grace and dedication,” USTA Chairman of the Board and President Mike McNulty said. “With her unparalleled dignity, Jane grew our sport from the most local grassroots to the highest levels of the professional game. She will be missed.”
In her term as USTA President, Brown Grimes oversaw a period of unprecedented growth for the US Open and a surge in participation of 10-and-under players. She was a particularly passionate advocate for public parks and schools tennis, and believed strongly in our sport’s unique ability to open doors of opportunity for young people. For many years, she served as director of the Rodney Street Tennis and Tutoring Association, an inner-city grass-roots program in Wilmington, Del.
She also lent her talent and insights to several International Tennis Federation committees, including Junior Competitions, Fed Cup, Rules of Tennis Committee, among others. Brown Grimes also served on the Grand Slam Committee.
On the occasion of Brown Grimes' induction into the ITHOF in 2004, Chris Evert paid tribute to her groundbreaking career: “Jane has served tennis on every level. No other person has ever run three major organizations in tennis. She broke down barriers that women faced in the workplace, pushed back gender roles, and did it all with grace. Over the decades I watched Jane work her magic with intelligence, savvy, and integrity. Her skilled diplomacy was key to the survival of the WTA.”
Brown Grimes is survived by her three children—Jim, Ames and Serena—five grandchildren and a brother.