Induction Year: 1988
Charlie McCleary (1913-1999) was a leader in the tennis community from the time he was 13 years old and helped form the Waco Tennis Association. At 18 Charlie turned down a scholarship to Rice Institute to teach tennis as a professional. That year he organized the Waco Lawn Tennis Club. Charlie began his first publication, Lone Star Tennis, in 1937. He had to stop publication when he was drafted into the army during World War II.
After the war, Charlie worked in sales and home building and attended Baylor University. He once again began teaching tennis and writing and publishing tennis magazines. During his teaching career, Charlie taught at Brook Hollow Tennis Club, Dallas Country Club, Cedar Springs Club and the Sul Ross Tennis Center (renamed the Charlie McCleary Tennis Center). He wrote for the Waco Tribune Herald, the Dallas Morning News and published three tennis magazines: Lone Star Tennis, Texas Tennis and Tennis News of the Southwest.
Charlie and his wife, Emadele, loved the history of tennis. They opened the Texas Tennis Museum and Hall of Fame in 1981 across from the Sul Ross Tennis Center in Waco. In 1993 they moved the Museum into the newly built Texas Sports Hall of Fame. Together they ran the tennis museum for 17 years. They were awarded the Schroeder Award by the International Sports Heritage Association for their work.