Joseph Sill Clark, Sr.

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Joseph Sill Clark, Sr.

Birthplace: Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
Death: Died in Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
Place of Burial: Whitemarsh Township, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of Edward White Clark and Mary Todhunter Clark
Husband of Kate Richardson Clark
Father of Joseph S. Clark, Jr., U.S. Senator and Avery Borodell B. Clark
Brother of Clarence Munroe Clark; Edward Walter Clark, Jr.; Marion Madeira; Herbert L Clark and Percy Hamilton Clark

Occupation: Tennis Spieler
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Joseph Sill Clark, Sr.

He was a graduate of Harvard University, 1883; Law

School of University of Pennsylvania, 1885. He was a lawyer.

Residence, Chestnut Hill, Philadelphia, Pa.


Joseph Sill Clark, Sr. (November 30, 1861 - April 14, 1956) was a champion American tennis player. Clark won 1885 U.S. National Championship in doubles, partnering with Dick Sears. He was also the inaugural singles and doubles national collegiate champion, in 1883. When he died in 1956 he was Philadelphia's oldest practicing attorney.


Clark was born in Germantown, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on November 30, 1861, to a family of bankers and financiers. His father, Edward White Clark, was a partner in the family firm, E. W. Clark & Co.. Clark's brother, Clarence Munroe Clark would also become a tennis player of note.

As a student at Harvard University, Joseph Clark won the U.S. intercollegiate singles and doubles titles in its inaugural staging, in the spring of 1883. In the singles, he defeated fellow Crimson player Dick Sears.

In 1885, he took the U.S. National lawn tennis doubles title, and also became champion of Canada, the first American to do so.

Clark was also a three-time semi-finalist in U.S. National lawn tennis singles, in 1885 through 1887. He captured the first two U.S. National mixed doubles championships in 1888 and 1889, partnering with Marian Wright.

He served as president of the United States National Lawn Tennis Association from 1889 until 1891.

Clark married Kate Richardson Avery on November 26, 1896, on Avery Island, Louisiana.

He was the father of two sons: future Philadelphia mayor and U.S. Senator Joseph Sill Clark, Jr. and Avery B. Clark. He had at least three grandchildren: Clark Jr.'s children Joseph S. Clark III and Noel (Clark) Miller (née Clark), and Avery's daughter Kate Avery Clark.

Clark was inaugurated into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1955. He died April 14, 1956 in Chestnut Hill, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Grand Slam record

U.S. championships Doubles champion: 1885
Mixed doubles champion: 1888, 1889

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Joseph Sill Clark, Sr.'s Timeline

November 30, 1861
Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
October 21, 1901
Age 39
Philadelphia, PA
March 2, 1904
Age 42
Philadelphia, PA
April 15, 1956
Age 94
Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
April 17, 1956
Age 94
Whitemarsh Township, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, United States