Allison Danzig
Allison Danzig
Born(1898-02-27)February 27, 1898
Waco, Texas
DiedJanuary 27, 1987(1987-01-27) (aged 88)
Alma materCornell University

Allison "Al" Danzig (27 February 1898 – 27 January 1987) was an American sportswriter who specialized in writing about tennis, but also covered college football, squash, many Olympic Games, and rowing.[1] Danzig was the only American sportswriter to extensively cover real tennis, the precursor to modern lawn tennis.[2]

Danzig covered every tournament in the Grand Slam - the U.S. Open, the Australian Open, Wimbledon, and the French Open - as well as many others. In 1968, Danzig was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in Newport, Rhode Island - becoming the first journalist in the Hall.[2] In an interview shortly before his death, he named Bill Tilden as the greatest player he had covered.


Danzig was born in 1898 in Waco, Texas, but grew up in Albany, New York. Talent ran in the family. His sister, Evelyn Danzig, wrote the music for the hit song "Scarlet Ribbons" in 1949.

He graduated in 1921 from Cornell University, where he was co-editor of The Daily Sun with E.B. White. Danzig also briefly played football at Cornell while weighing just 125-pounds.[1] He joined The New York Times in 1923, after a stint at the Brooklyn Eagle, and remained there until his retirement in 1968.[1] Before becoming a sportswriter, Danzig wrote obituaries, and was originally planning for a career as a foreign correspondent.

Danzig wrote several books, including: The Racquet Game (Macmillan 1930), a history of racquet sports; The Fireside Book of Tennis (Simon & Schuster 1972); and Oh, How They Played The Game (Macmillan 1971), about the early days of American football. A critic at The New York Times called his book History of American Football: Its Great Teams, Players and Coaches (1956) "without doubt, the most ambitious and best book ever published on the subject of college football."[1] His last book, The Winning Gallery, was a collection of articles and essays about real tennis, which was published by the United States Court Tennis Association (USCTA).[3]

He is credited with popularizing the term "Grand Slam", as well as coining the term "ace" to describe a serve in which the opposing player fails to get their racket on the ball.[citation needed]

He lived most of his adult life in Roslyn, New York, with his wife, two daughters, and one son. He retired to New Jersey, where he died on 27 January 1987.


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