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Helen Hull Jacobs Edit Profile

designer , writer , athlete

Helen Hull Jacobs was an American female tennis player who won nine Grand Slam titles.


Helen Hull Jacobs was born on August 6, 1908 in Globe, Arizona, United States. She learned the game at the Berkeley Tennis Club.


Helen Hull Jacobs pursued her undergraduate degree in 1929 at the University of California, Berkeley.


Jacobs served as a commander in the U.S. Navy intelligence during World War II, one of only five women to achieve that rank in the Navy. Jacobs also worked as a public information officer at the Naval Gun Factory and served at the Naval roving Ground. She retired in the rank of commander in 1968. During her career, she also worked as a senior editor with Grolier Council for Education Research in New York City.

Jacobs was a member of the U.S. Wightman Cup team from 1927 through 1937 and again in 1939. While she was still playing tennis, Jacobs became a writer. Her first books were "Modern Tennis" and "Improve Your Tennis." She also wrote fictional works, such as "Storm Against the Wind." Her autobiography "Beyond the Game" appeared in 1936. In 1949 she published "Gallery of Champions", a collection of biographies of female players, which she dedicated to Molla Mallory.


  • Jacobs is best remembered for tar early career as a tennis star and for the numerous instructional books she wrote about the sport, in the 1920s and 1930s she was a competitor for Hiany women’s tennis titles, earning nine major championship awards. Among these awards are the United States national title in 1932, 1933, 1934. and 1935. She was ranked in the top ten in women’s tennis between 1928 and 1939, and she won the singles at Wimbledon in 1936.


  • English Speaking Union , United Kingdom

  • Mark Twain Society , United Kingdom

  • Junior League , Oakland-East Bay

  • Women's Athletic Club , United States of America

  • California Writers Club , United States of America

  • All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club , United Kingdom

  • Nice Tennis Club , France

  • California Tennis Club , United States of America

  • Berkeley Tennis Club

  • Kappa Alpha Theta


  • Sport & Clubs



Long known to have been lesbian, she was in a relationship from 1934 to 1943 with Henrietta Bingham, daughter of Louisville publisher and ambassador to England Robert Bingham. Her partner in later life was Virginia Gurnee.

Roland Jacobs

Eula Jacobs

Hazel Hotchkiss Wightman

Helen Wills Moody

Henrietta Bingham

Virginia Gurnee