El Paso, TX – Former world No. 1 tennis star Margaret Osborne duPont had died at the age of 94.
One of America's great early tennis champions, duPont, who passed away while in hospice care in El Paso, Texas, enjoyed a lengthy career from the early 1940s through the early 1960s. She won an incredible 37 titles at Grand Slam tournaments in singles, doubles, and mixed doubles, which places her fourth on the all-time list, despite the fact that she never entered the Australian Championships.
Complementing her extraordinary success on court, duPont was always held in high regard by peers and fans for her exemplary sportsmanship and character. She was inducted to the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1967.
DuPont was an inspiration for many players, including fellow Hall-of-Famer Billie Jean King, who said, "Margaret duPont was a giant in tennis and had a huge impact on my career. She was one of my heroes and was a great influence on my life both on and off the court. I hope today's players and any boy or girl who dreams of a career in tennis will go to the history books and read about Margaret because her career wasn't just about winning matches, it was also about mentoring others."
Last year, Hall-of-Famer Tony Trabert was asked about duPont's legacy in the sport and he said, "I watched Margaret play many times, and she was really just an outstanding player and in particular, a fantastic doubles player, as is clear to see by her record. I always found her to be a genuinely nice person and to have great sportsmanship. She has been a terrific representative of our sport."
In the early 1940s, she met William duPont Jr., of the prominent and famous American family. The two married in 1947 and had a son, William III, in 1952.
The couple divorced in 1964.
DuPont was the year-end No. 1 in 1947, 1948, 1949, and 1950. She was first ranked in the United States' Top 10 in 1938, and she remained in the Top 5 for 20 years. She was ranked in the U.S. Top 10 14 times over those 20 years, and in the world Top 10 nine times.
DuPont's Grand Slam tournament success included six singles titles, 21 doubles titles, and 10 mixed doubles titles. Her incredible total of 37 Grand Slam tournament wins is surpassed only by fellow Hall-of-Famers Margaret Smith Court, Martina Navratilova, and Billie Jean King. DuPont teamed with Louise Brough Clapp, also a Hall-of-Famer, to win 20 of her major women's doubles titles, which ties Navratilova and Pam Shriver for the most Grand Slam titles ever won by a women's doubles team.
The Oregon native won 25 of her major titles at the U.S. Championships, which is an all-time record. In 2010, she was inducted to the U.S. Open Court of Champions.