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Bill Tilden - Chronology

Famous Sports StarsTennisBill Tilden Biography - Born Into Privilege, Chronology, A Self-taught Genius, Awards And Accomplishments, The Tilden Age


1893 Born February 10, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to William Tatem Sr. and Selina Hey Tilden
1898 First picks up a tennis racquet, copying serve and volley style of his brother
1901 Wins first singles title in 15-and-under tournament
1908 Upon illness of his mother, is sent to live with his aunt
1910 Graduates from Germantown Academy in Philadelphia and enters the University of Pennsylvania
1911 Mother dies
1913 Coaches Germantown Academy tennis team and begins serious study of lawn tennis
1913 Wins first U.S. mixed doubles title, with Mary Kendall Browne
1915 Both father and brother die and Tilden leaves college to work as a reporter and build a tennis career
1916 Loses first U.S. singles championship
1917 Enlists in U.S. Army, serving in Pennsylvania
1918 Discharged from the army, he wins 11 of 15 singles tournaments and maintains a number two ranking
1919 Spends almost a year developing a driving backhand
1921 Publishes book of instruction, The Art of Lawn Tennis
1922 Top joint of right middle finger is amputated
1924 Challenges U.S. Lawn Tennis Association ban on amateur players writing about tennis
1925 Publishes Match Play and the Spin of the Ball, considered a classic in tennis technique
1926 Knee injury leads to his first loss in a match in six years
1928 USLTA suspends Tilden for his tennis writing
1930 Ends amateur career
1930 Signs movie contract with MGM
1930 Publishes novel, Glory's Net,
1931 Enters professional playing career with Tilden Tennis Tour
1934 Tours with tennis great Ellsworth Vines
1937 Tours with Fred Perry
1939 Moves from Philadelphia and his aunt's house to Los Angeles, California
1941-45 Plays benefit tournaments to support the war effort
1946 Arrested for contributing to the delinquency of a minor for sexually molesting a 14-year-old boy and sentenced to a year in prison
1948 Again convicted of contributing to the delinquency of a minor and sentenced to a second prison term
1950 Publishes How to Play Better Tennis, the distillation of his tennis wisdom
1950 Named greatest player of 1900-1950 by Associated Press poll
1953 Dies of a heart attack in Los Angeles
1959 Inducted posthumously into the Tennis Hall of Fame
1969 Voted greatest male player of all time by panel of international tennis journalists

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