Charles W. Briggs, Jr. '45
Year Inducted: 1982
Charles W. Briggs, Jr. ’45, like good wine, seems to get better with age. After being ranked in the top ten of the New England Lawn Tennis Association’s Men’s singles division for the past twenty-seven years, Charlie captured the Senior 55 and over tennis championship last July at Cheshire, Conn. And earlier last summer, he had been the winner (on the same weekend) of the Men’s 55 and 60 singles divisions of the Cortina Senior open in Killington, Vermont. Charlie Briggs has been a tough man to beat on a tennis court since 1941 and 1942 when he was a singles champion and captain at Moses Brown. He won the Exton Cup at Brown in 1948 (symbolic of the singles championship of the college) and played number one on the 1949 Bruin varsity. Since that time, he has won more than twenty local, state, and United States Lawn Tennis Association-sponsored tournaments. He partnered Don Budge in a doubles exhibition match in 1958, and in international competition against Canada in the Friendship Cup Matches he posted a 6-0 record. “Charlie has always been a tenacious competitor,” says Wes Moulton ’31, who coached Briggs at Brown. “He was quick to spot an opponent’s weakness and showed tremendous resilience to bounce back when he was behind.” At age 26, Charlie Briggs had great speed, stamina, and a consistent, lashing topspin forehand. As the years passed, so did the great forehand, to be replaced by a topspin backhand, a sliced forehand, and a well-balanced all-court game featuring control, power, and court savvy. He has also kept himself in tip-top condition. The Charlie Briggs of thirty-three years ago probably would be no match for the seasoned tournament campaigner of today. Charlie Briggs has also made a substantial contribution to tennis at the administrative level. In 1951, he was one of three men who organized “Little League” tennis in New England. And for the past third years he has busied himself in just about every phase of administrative work for the N.E. Lawn Tennis Association, serving as treasurer of the NELTA and chairman of its budget and finance committee. This work was recognized in 1975 when he was given the Gardner Ward Chase Memorial Award as the NELTA Man-of-the-Year. A retired banker, Charlie Briggs lives in Providence.