New-York Historical Society's Bill Shannon Dictionary of New York Sports

Slew Hester

Slew Hester (Tennis.  Born, Hazlehurst, Mass, May 8, 1912; died, Jackson, Miss., Feb. 8, 1993.)  By the time he assumed the U.S. Tennis Association presidency in 1977, William Ewing Hester, Jr., had already set in motion events that were to have a profound effect on tennis around the world, but especially in New York.  Hester, a successful oil wildcatter from Jackson, Miss., had determined that the U.S. Open would not only remain in New York but that it would have a new, modern home.  He saw the decaying Singer Bowl, a leftover from the 1964-65 World’s Fair, in Flushing Meadow-Corona Park, while flying into the city.  Hester leased the facility from the cash-starved Beame administration and announced that the Open would be leaving the venerable West Side Tennis Club in Forest Hills after the 1977 championships.  He then set about to make it possible by contracting the reconstruction and supervising the job.  Hester thus anchored the event in New York and paved the way for the ultimate development of the U.S.T.A. National Tennis Center.  An athlete who played football at Millsops Colllege in Jackson, Hester also won several age-group tennis titles before becoming a U.S.L.T.A. officer (national secretary) in 1969.

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The Bill Shannon Biographical Dictionary of New York Sports is an open database of sports biographies maintained by Jordan Sprechman and Marty Appel. We welcome public and scholarly contributions and suggestions.

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About Bill Shannon

A prolific author, wire service sports reporter, long time Major League Baseball official scorer, football statistician, sports museum founder, theatrical agency owner and public ... read more

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