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date: 28 May 2020

Tilden, Billlocked

(10 February 1893–05 June 1953)
  • Frank V. Phelps


Tilden, Bill (10 February 1893–05 June 1953), tennis player, was born William Tatem Tilden, Jr., at “Overleigh,” his parents’ mansion in the Germantown section of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the son of William Tatem Tilden, a wool merchant and local reform political leader, and Selina Hey, an accomplished pianist. He was tutored at home because his mother overprotected him against communicable diseases. At age seven Tilden discovered tennis at the Onteora (N.Y.) Club, in the Catskill Mountains, where the family summered. Thereafter, “Junior” played tennis mostly at the Germantown Cricket Club, where the Tildens held membership. He closely copied the serve-and-volley style of his teenage brother, Herbert Marmaduke Tilden, a skilled tournament competitor. When his mother contracted Bright’s disease in 1908, Tilden was sent to live nearby with his aunt, Mary Elizabeth Hey, and his first cousin, Selena Hey. He would reside there for the next thirty years. His aunt enrolled him at Germantown Academy, where he played on the tennis team for two years, his senior year as team captain. In 1910 he graduated from the academy, preparatory to entering the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania....

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