Jane Brown Grimes, tennis executive and Hall of Famer, dies

NEW YORK (AP) — Jane Brown Grimes, a member of the International Tennis Hall of Fame for contributions to the sport as an executive who held roles at the U.S. Tennis Association, the precursor to the WTA Tour and the Hall itself, has died at age 80.

The Hall announced Brown Grimes’ death on Wednesday, based on information from her daughter, Serena Larson. The Hall said Brown Grimes passed away at her home in New York City on Tuesday.

“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.”

Brown Grimes opened a New York development office for the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1977 and was the Rhode Island-based Hall’s Executive Director from 1981-86, then its President and CEO from 1991-2000, overseeing the restoration of its historic buildings and grounds.

In 1986, she became the Managing Director of the Women’s Professional Tennis Council, the WTA’s precursor. She was the Chairman of the Board, President and CEO of the USTA in 2007-08.

Brown Grimes, who served on International Tennis Federation committees and the Grand Slam Committee, was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 2014.

“As the leader of three major tennis organizations, Jane had a tremendously positive and wide-ranging impact across the sport,” former Hall CEO Mark Stenning said. “She was an astute leader who approached everything with the highest level of grace, skill, and intelligence. I am grateful to have counted her as my friend and mentor.”

In addition to Larson, Brown Grimes is survived by two sons, five grandchildren and her brother, according to the Hall.

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