Sarah Palfrey Cooke

Family tree of Sarah Palfrey Cooke


AmericanBorn Sarah Hammond Palfrey

American tennis player

Born on September 18, 1912 in Sharon, Massachusetts , United States

Died on February 27, 1996 in New York City, New York , United States

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Sarah Hammond Palfrey Danzig (née Palfrey; September 18, 1912 – February 27, 1996) was an American tennis player whose career spanned two decades from the late 1920s until the late 1940s. She won two singles, nine women's doubles, and four mixed doubles titles at the U.S. National Championships.

She was 32 years old, married to Elwood Cooke, and a mother when she won her second singles title at the 1945 U.S. National Championships. Pauline Betz was her opponent in the final. Since she lost to Cooke in the 1941 final, Betz had won three consecutive titles and 19 consecutive matches at these championships. In 1945, Cooke lost the first set and squandered her 5–2 lead in the second set before recovering to win it 8–6. In the third set, Betz got close to winning yet another title when she served for a 5–3 lead. Cooke, however, broke her serve and then won the next two games to win the tournament. She became only the second mother to win this title, with Hazel Hotchkiss Wightman being the first.Cooke is one of the few women, if not the sole woman, to appear on a top-level male championship honor roll. Because of the manpower crisis during World War II, she and husband Elwood were permitted to enter the men's doubles at the 1945 Tri-State Championships in Cincinnati. They lost in the final to Hal Surface and Bill Talbert.Palfrey won 16 Grand Slam championships in women's doubles (11) and mixed doubles (5). She teamed with Betty Nuthall to win the 1930 U.S. National Championships and with Helen Jacobs to win the 1932, 1934, and 1935 championships. Palfrey and Alice Marble won the U.S. National Championships from 1937 through 1940. At the Wimbledon Championships, Palfrey and Marble won the 1938 and 1939 women's doubles titles. Palfrey's last U.S. women's doubles championship was in 1941 with Margaret Osborne. In mixed doubles, Palfrey teamed with four different partners to win the U.S. National Championships: Fred Perry (1932), Enrique Maier (1935), Don Budge (1937), and Jack Kramer (1941). Palfrey also won the mixed doubles title at the 1939 French International Championships, teaming with future husband Elwood Cooke.
Palfrey and Marble were undefeated in doubles from 1937 until Marble turned professional at the end of 1940.

In 1947, Cooke and Betz went on a "barnstorming" tour of mostly one-night stands in the U.S. and Europe, with each earning about US$10,000. They had been stripped of their amateur status by the United States Lawn Tennis Association (USLTA) in early 1947 because Elwood Cooke had written letters to several tournament organizers about creating a professional tour.According to A. Wallis Myers and John Olliff of The Daily Telegraph and the Daily Mail, Palfrey was one of the 10 highest ranked women in the world from 1933 through 1936 and in 1938 and 1939. Her career high was fourth in 1934. (No world rankings were issued from 1940 through 1945.) Palfrey was included in the year-end top 10 rankings issued by the USLTA 1929–1931, 1933–1941, and 1945. She was the top-ranked U.S. player in 1941 and 1945.Palfrey and Marble lobbied the USLTA to remove the color bar and allow Althea Gibson to play at heretofore whites-only tournaments beginning in 1950. "She [Palfrey] was calmly persuasive, had clout as an ex-champ, and got Althea into the U.S. [National] Championships in 1950," said Gladys Heldman, founder of the women's professional tennis tour in 1970.Palfrey once said, "Tennis is the best game there is. It combines mental and physical qualities and is the sport for a lifetime. And there are many living examples at the age of 80 to prove it. So it is enough for us to know that tennis will remain, under whatever conditions, whether amateur or pro, the finest game there is for us, for our children, and our children's children."Palfrey was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1963.
Palfrey and Marty Glickman covered the home games of the 1946-47 New York Knicks on WHN radio. Glickman handled play-by-play duties while Palfrey provided the color commentary. The New York Times stated "in what is said to be the first time that an outstanding woman sports figure has been assigned to such a chore, Sarah Palfrey Cooke, tennis champion, will provide the 'color' accounts of the games."

Personal life
She had two children and was married three times: to Marshal Fabyan, Elwood Cooke, and Jerome Alan Danzig. She married Fabyan on October 6, 1934, but divorced him in Reno, Nevada on July 20, 1940. She married Cooke on October 2, 1940, and their daughter was born in December 1942. She divorced him on April 29, 1949, on grounds of cruelty. She married Danzig on April 27, 1951, and remained married to him until her death of lung cancer in 1996. Their son was born in December 1952.Her brother John Palfrey, also an excellent tennis player and an expert on atomic energy, married Belle "Clochette" Roosevelt Palfrey, a granddaughter of Theodore Roosevelt and a daughter of Kermit Roosevelt.
She also had four sisters, who were all fine tennis players.

Grand Slam finals

Singles (2 titles, 2 runner-ups)

Doubles (11 titles, 3 runner-ups)

Mixed doubles (5 titles, 5 runner-ups)

Grand Slam singles tournament timeline

R = tournament restricted to French nationals and held under German occupation.

See also
Performance timelines for all female tennis players who reached at least one Grand Slam final


External links
Sarah Palfrey Cooke at the International Tennis Hall of Fame

Biography from Wikipedia (see original) under licence CC BY-SA 3.0


Geographical origins

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