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Lake Erie
Mary K. Browne
Mary K. Browne

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.