Ellen Crosby Roosevelt was born on August 20, 1868 in Rosendale, New York. She was a former American professional tennis player and became a sensation together with her sister, Grace Roosevelt. Both sisters were first cousins of Franklin D Roosevelt.
Ellen was coached and trained by her father, John Roosevelt. Together with her sister, they grew up practicing and playing tennis in their private court at home. Ellen first played in the US Championships in 1888 together with her sister, Grace, who was also a professional tennis player. Two years after having played tennis, both sisters became champions. Ellen won the 1890 US Championships singles against defending champ Bertha Townsend. She also won the doubles championship together with her sister against the duo Townsend and Margarette Ballard. In the year 1891, Ellen became a singles finalist and doubles finalist for the US Championships.
Ellen and her sister, Grace, became the first known sister sensation in tennis. They were also the first sisters to have won a major title. They were then followed by sisters, Juliette and Kathleen Atkinson in the year 1897 and 1898. The sister sensation was cut short, however, when Irishwoman Mabel Cahill entered the scene. Cahill first defeated Grace Roosevelt and then Ellen Roosevelt respectively in singles. In doubles, Cahill together with Emma Morgan unseated the sisters from their championship throne. It was quite a while when Ellen reentered the tennis scene in 1893. Together with Clarence Hobart, Ellen won the mixed doubles title.
Both Ellen and Grace Roosevelt were right-handers and both sisters died in Hyde Park. Ellen died on September 26, 1954 and entered the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1975.