Born on April 17, 1925 in Hayward, California, Arthur David Larsen was best remembered for his eccentric tendencies. Called “Tappy” or “Art” by colleagues, friends and relatives, he was described by writer Jack Kramer as a fascinating personality. He sometimes went around talking to an imaginary bird sitting on his shoulder. He was called “Tappy” because he believes that whatever he touches, he will bring good luck. Tennis helped as a mental therapy for Larsen after a long front line exposure during the World War II. He may have developed the skill of a good tennis player, but his unusual behavior failed him to join the professional tour.

His performances on courts where enough to advance him to become a member of the Olympic Club in San Francisco. He was also a member of the NCAA Men’s Tennis Championship team in 1949. He was the U.S. singles champion in 1950 and a singles runner-up in 1954.

Born 17 Apr 1925
Death 7 Dec 2012 (87 years)
Nationality United States United States
Nickname Tappy

The 5-feet-150 pound tennis player was popular as the only athlete who party all night before and during tournaments. He would directly head for his match straight from a party without much rest and sleep. His lifestyle was consistent even when he was enrolled at University of San Francisco.

Despite his unconventional behavior as a non-traditional athlete, he was the very first man to win championship titles as an amateur on all four surfaces. These included indoor, hard court, clay and grass. It was only after several years, when Tony Trabert was able to earn the same reputation.

After a tragic motor scooter accident that happened in Castro Valley, California, Larsen became paralyzed and one of his eyes became blind. This resulted to an early retirement in his tennis career. He only played as an amateur but was already ranking number 8 that time.

Larsen was inducted to the International Word of Tennis Hall of Fame in 1969.

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    Deanna Anderson

    I am his only daughter, who never had the opportunity to meet him as my parents divorced shortly after my birth. I was surprised he was still alive as I thought he had died years ago due to his accident. My name is Deanna Anderson, and he has a granddaughter Chloe Anderson.

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    Carl Stengel

    Art Larsen passed away on Dec 7, 2012. Of the photos posted under his name, only the bottom photo, second from the left, is of him. None of the other photos make any sense and should not be associated with the Tennis player. Art Larsen was in the army and was in recon. Art Larsen was a master of ball control of which I have yet seen the likes of. I use to play tennis with Art, my unlce.

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