Jimmy Van Alen, tennis star and founder of the International Tennis Hall of Fame was born on September 19, 1902 in Newport. Alen was the son of James Laurens Van Alen and Margaret Louis Post, prominent members of Newport society who were descendants of the Astor family.

In 1925, Alen graduated from Christ’s College in Cambridge, England where he won awards in lawn tennis. He later won US national court tennis championships in singles and doubles.

Alen is best known locally as a founder of the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1954. He was inducted into the Hall in 1965. He is also recognized for developing a simplified scoring system known as the Van Alen Streamlined Scoring System (VASSS) which introduced a sudden-death tie-breaker to end prolonged sets and matches.

Alen passed away in 1991 after a fall in his home. He is buried at Berkeley Memorial Cemetery at Saint Columba’s Chapel in Middletown.

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Ken Abrams

Lifestyle Editor Ken Abrams writes about music and more for What'sUpNewp, Providence Monthly, SO RI, and The Bay. He DJ's "The Kingston Coffeehouse" Tuesday nights, 6-9 PM on WRIU 90.3 FM.