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Black History Month As 10sBalls Remembers Henry Talbert And How He Improved Lives Thru Tennis

Novak Djokovic and Mardy Fish Giving Henry Talbert The Gussy Moran Humanatarian Award.



Editor’s Note: Henry Talbert was one of the finest gentleman we’ve ever known. He was brought into the SCTA to bring back the fairness and transparency that the section so rich in history deserved. He was a true gem. A rare one at that. We were blessed he chose tennis as his life’s passion. He was a true “Guardian of the Game”.


Great Humanitarian Henry Talbert Passes Away


Longtime Southern California Tennis Association Executive Director Henry Talbert, a true guardian of the game, has passed away at his Brentwood home after a long and brave battle with cancer.


A Southern California native, Talbert served his country dutifully, as well as his community. One year ago, 10sBalls.com honored Talbert with the first Gussy Moran Humanitarian Award at the L.A. Tennis Challenge for his lifelong support for the game of tennis.


Talbert became involved in tennis as a youngster and attended local schools. He graduated with a BA in Political Science and a Masters in Government from UCLA.


Following college, he proudly served his country as an Army Captain in Vietnam and moved on to the National Urban League, where he served as the Director of Veterans Affairs. In 1974, he began his long career with the USTA.


He started in the New York City offices as Tennis Programming Director, overseeing many aspects of the USTA Organization. In 1990, he moved to the Princeton office, where much of the focus was on recreation programming and research. In 1993, he moved to the White Plains office where he supervised the USTA National recreation program staff. He also was in charge of staff and national committees for USTA Schools Program, USTA Adult League, the National Junior Tennis League, Community organization grants-giving, and Teacher Training Workshops.


Over the years, Talbert has held many prominent community positions, has built tennis organizations for recreational players at the local level, and has received many awards for his activities, including the coveted Educational Merit Award from the International Tennis Hall of Fame.


In 1998, Talbert returned to his SoCal roots and joined the SCTA Staff as Executive Director.


One year ago, Talbert spoke about what it meant to be involved with tennis in Southern California. “Being in Southern California and working for the tennis Association is special,” he said. “The opportunity to see up close our juniors, adults and senior players participating in SCTA programs is a treat I could not have expected from my vantage point in the national office. Having the opportunity to see our programs grow and mature has been amazing.”


Steve Bellamy: “For those who don’t know, it is with great sadness, I inform you that Henry Talbert passed away this morning following a long, long battle with cancer, I believe instigated from Agent Orange in the war. The family has asked to pass the info on to all those who knew Henry. The tennis industry has lost one of its great, great men….as has the world. I got to see Henry a couple of nights ago and it was a night I’ll cherish for a long time. He was such  a great. Hit a few balls in honor of him!


Thoughts, love and prayer to Ethan, Eli and Fran.”


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