Robert J. Kelleher

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Bob Kelleher
Full name Robert Joseph Kelleher
Country (sports)  United States
Born (1913-03-05)March 5, 1913
New York City, New York, United States
Died June 20, 2012(2012-06-20) (aged 99)
Los Angeles, California, United States
Plays Right-handed (one-handed backhand)
Int. Tennis HoF 2000 (member page)
Grand Slam Singles results
US Open 2R (1934, 1935)

Robert Joseph Kelleher (March 5, 1913 – June 20, 2012) was a United States federal judge and an American tennis player and official, inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 2000. He graduated from Williams College in 1935, where he was a member of Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity, and from Harvard Law School in 1938.

Legal career[edit]

In 1941–42, Kelleher worked as an associate attorney in the U.S. Department of the Army in Los Angeles. He served in the U.S. Naval Reserve from 1943 to 1945. From 1945 to 1971, Kelleher was an attorney in private practice in the Los Angeles area, with the exception of his service as Assistant United States Attorney for the Southern District of California between 1948 and 1951.[1]

In 1970, President Richard M. Nixon nominated Kelleher to be a U.S. district court judge for the Central District of California in Los Angeles. In 1977, he served as the judge in the separate trials[2][3] of Christopher Boyce and Andrew Daulton Lee, the subjects of the 1985 movie The Falcon and the Snowman and the book of the same name. Kelleher assumed senior status in 1983 and served as a federal judge until his death at the age of 99 on June 20, 2012.[4]

Tennis career[edit]

Kelleher was the New England Intercollegiate Doubles Champion in 1933 and won the Eastern Collegiate Doubles the same year. He won the Canadian mixed doubles championship in 1947 with his wife Gracyn Wheeler Kelleher. Kelleher was the U.S. Davis Cup Captain in 1962–63 (winning in 1963) and was a three-time U.S. Hard Court 45s doubles champion.

As president of the United States Lawn Tennis Association (USLTA) in 1967–68, Kelleher helped make open tennis a reality in 1968. Prior to his presidency, major tennis tournaments were closed to professional players and prize money was not offered. Kelleher was instrumental in changing this system, thus allowing anyone to play and instituting legitimate prize money in tournaments.[5] He also participated extensively in the activities of the Southern California Tennis Association.


  1. ^ Robert Joseph Kelleher at the Biographical Directory of Federal Judges, a public domain publication of the Federal Judicial Center.
  2. ^ "Judge Sentences Spy To 40 Years In Jail". Toledo Blade. September 12, 1977. Retrieved June 21, 2012. 
  3. ^ Noe, Denise. "Christopher Boyce & Andrew Daulton Lee". Crime Library. Retrieved June 21, 2012. 
  4. ^ Noland, Claire (June 20, 2012). "Robert J. Kelleher dies at 99; pivotal tennis official became federal judge". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved June 21, 2012. 
  5. ^ Finn, Robin (June 22, 2012). "Robert J. Kelleher, Judge and Tennis Official, Dies at 99". The New York Times. 

External links[edit]

Legal offices
Preceded by
new seat
Judge of the United States District Court for the Central District of California
Succeeded by
Alicemarie Huber Stotler