Industry Loses Walter Montenegro

Tennis and racquet sports industry innovator Walter Montenegro died on Nov. 3 in New Jersey. He had celebrated his 100th birthday this past August.

Montenegro was born Aug. 25, 1909, in San Jose, Costa Rica. He earned an accounting degree at the University of Buenos Aires, then arrived in New York in his early 20s. He learned to string tennis racquets and ultimately established a number of racquet companies, including Calhoun-Cragin and Cragin Simplex, where he also imported Babolat strings.

Among other endeavors, he developed a squash ball for summer play that changed the game to a year-round sport, and generated a Sports Illustrated article by George Plimpton. He also was instrumental in building up the USPTA, USRSA, TIA and U.S. Professional Squash Racquets Association. He was inducted into the Sporting Good Industry Hall of Fame in 1985. waltermontenegro.jpg


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