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Mark Hume McCormack (November 6, 1930 – May 16, 2003) was an American lawyer, sports agent and writer. He was the founder and chairman of International Management Group, now IMG, an international management organization serving sports figures and celebrities. The 2004 romantic comedy Wimbledon, starring Kirsten Dunst and Paul Bettany, was dedicated to McCormack's memory in recognition of all that he contributed to both tennis and golf.
Early life, education
McCormack was the only son of Chicago publisher Ned McCormack. He graduated from the College of William and Mary in 1951. He earned his law degree from Yale Law School, and served in the United States Army. He played varsity golf at William and Mary, and competed in the 1958 U.S. Open.
After his Army discharge, McCormack worked as an attorney at the Cleveland law firm, Arter and Hadden. In the 1950s he helped organize one-day golf exhibitions for professionals around the United States. In 1960, McCormack signed golfer Arnold Palmer as IMG's first client and later signed Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player. McCormack's clients eventually included Björn Borg, Chris Evert, Pete Sampras, Michael Schumacher, Derek Jeter, Charles Barkley and model Kate Moss. He also handled special projects for Margaret Thatcher, Mikhail Gorbachev, Pope John Paul II and Tiger Woods.
McCormack wrote several books, including The Terrible Truth About Lawyers and What They Don't Teach You at Harvard Business School, which spent 21 consecutive weeks at #1 on the New York Times bestseller list. His annual publication The World of Professional Golf, first published in 1967, included an (unofficial) world ranking system. In his book What They Don't Teach You at Harvard Business School, McCormack tells a fictionalized story[page needed] of a Harvard study in which the three percent of graduates who had clear, written goals earned ten times as much as the 97 percent who didn't have clear, written goals. Numerous motivational speakers, including McCormack himself, Anthony Robbins and Brian Tracy, have used various versions of this story in their presentations.
Originates rankings for golf and tennis
The system used to calculate McCormack's World Golf Rankings was adapted in 1986 to become the Official World Golf Ranking system, with McCormack chairing the rankings committee made up of representatives from all the major golf tours. McCormack pioneered a similar system for tennis rankings. McCormack met his second wife Betsy Nagelsen-McCormack, a two-time Australian Open doubles champion and a Wimbledon doubles finalist, while she was a business client. They married in 1986. The couple founded the McCormack-Nagelsen Tennis Center at the College of William & Mary, which houses the ITA Women's Collegiate Tennis Hall of Fame.
McCormack died at a New York hospital on May 16, 2003, age 72, from complications after suffering a cardiac event four months earlier that left him in a coma. His second wife, their daughter, and children from his first marriage to Nancy Breckenridge McCormack, Breck, Todd and Leslie, later shared $750 million, when the family's shares in IMG were sold.
In July 2006 McCormack was selected for induction into the World Golf Hall of Fame in the lifetime achievement category, and he was inducted in October 2006. On January 23, 2008, he was also inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame. He was featured as one of the Forbes 400 Richest Americans in 1995, 1998, 2001. In 1990, he was named the "Most Powerful Man in Sports" by The Sporting News.
The Mark H. McCormack Award is awarded to the player who has spent the most weeks at number 1 in the Official World Golf Ranking during a calendar year. The first 13 of these awards after its inception went to Tiger Woods.
- Arnie: The Evolution of a Legend, New York: Simon & Schuster (1967)
- What They Don't Teach You at Harvard Business School: Notes From A Street-Smart Executive, New York: Bantam, (1984)
- The Terrible Truth About Lawyers: How Lawyers Really Work and How to Deal With Them Successfully, Harper Collins, 1987 (also published in another edition as What They Didn't Teach Me at Yale Law School, Fontana Press 1988)
- What They Still Don't Teach You at Harvard Business School, New York: Bantam Books, 1989 (also published in another edition as Success Secrets, HarperCollins, 1989)
- The 110% Solution, Villard Books, (1990)
- Hit the Ground Running: Executive Guide to Insider's Travel, Orion, 1993 (published in softcover edition as What They Don't Teach You at Harvard Business School About Executive Travel: Hit the Ground Running, Dove Books, 1996)
- McCormack on Negotiating, Random House (June, 1995)
- McCormack on Selling, Random House Business Books (June 15, 1995)
- McCormack on Managing, Random House Business Books (October 1995)
- McCormack on Communicating, Dove Entertainment (February 1996)
- Getting Results for Dummies: Get Organized, Stay Focused, and Get Things Done!, IDG Books, (1999)
- Staying Street Smart in the Internet Age, Penguin Putnam, 2000 (also published in another edition as What You'll Never Learn on the Internet, HarperCollins Business, 2001, as well as Never Wrestle with a Pig and Ninety Other Ideas to Build Your Business and Career, Penguin, 2002)
- Arnie and Jack: Palmer, Nicklaus, and Golf's Greatest Rivlary, by Ian O'Connor, 2008
- Nancy Breckenridge McCormack, born 10 June 1933-06-10; died 1998-01-14, Jefferson, Alabama. Source: Social Security Death Index.
- "Mark Hume McCormack". NameBase. Archived from the original on 2012-01-17. Retrieved 2012-01-20.
- R&A Introduces the Mark H. McCormack Medal
- Memorial from College of William and Mary
- Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Obituary
- International Tennis Hall of Fame