Sempronius “Semp” Russ

Induction Year: 1991


Sempronius “Semp” Russ (1879-1978) was born on April 16, 1878 in DeSoto Parish, Louisiana. He attended the Magruder School, San Antonio Sealey Academy and Tulane University before studying law at the University of Texas in Austin. Russ was a football quarterback at the University of Texas from 1898 to 1900 but it was his love of tennis that would take him all the way to the Olympics. From 1899 to 1915 he won 15 Texas State Sectional Championships in singles and doubles and he was a Southwestern Champion 3 times. In 1904 he placed fifth in singles and doubles with Charles Cresson. Russ helped organize the first tennis club in San Antonio in 1895.


Throughout his life Russ contributed significantly to the game of tennis. He was also instrumental in helping to further the medical and scientific fields by establishing an endowment for the University of Texas Medical School and establishing the Semp Russ Foundation. He was an active sports enthusiast, corporate leader and a generous supporter of tennis and education in Texas.

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