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Gottfried Von Cramm
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Tennis Player
    (July 7, 1909-November 8, 1976)
    Born in Hanover, Germany
    German baron
    Two-time French Open champion (1934,1936)
    Three-time Wimbledon runner-up (1935-37)
    Ranked #1 in the world (1937)
    Died in a car crash in Egypt
    Inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame (1977)
    His full name was the unwieldly Gottfried Alexander Maximilian Walter Kurt Freiherr von Cramm.
    He was married and divorced from Baroness Elisabeth von Dobeneck and Woolworth heiress Barbara Hutton.
    He was jailed six months on morals charges for having a homosexual affair with an actor (1938).
    Because he was a convicted criminal, he was not allowed to play at Wimbledon or the US Open in 1939.
    He slipped into such obscurity that Boris Becker upon first winning Wimbeldon claimed, 'In Germany we never had an idol before in tennis.'
    He was known for his gentlemanly conduct, fair play and impeccable dress.
    Sports Illustrated called him 'quite simply the most dashing figure tennis has ever known.'
    He refused to join the Nazi Party.
    He protested when a Jewish player, Daniel Prenn, was kicked off Germany's Davis Cup team.
    The Nazi regime punished him by preventing him from competing in the 1937 French Open, despite his being the defending champ.
    His morals charge conviction was another punishment from the Nazis for his insubordination.
    He suffered frostbite while serving on the Eastern Front in World War II.

Credit: C. Fishel


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