International Tennis Hall of Famer Nancy Jeffett dies at 88

Nancy Jeffett, left, has died at age 88. (Michael Dwyer/AP)

DALLAS — Nancy P. Jeffett, who was instrumental in arranging the first network broadcast of women’s tennis, has died. She was 88.

International Tennis Hall of Fame spokeswoman Anne Marie McLaughlin on Friday confirmed the 2015 inductee’s death. A news release said she died peacefully Thursday.

Jeffett was among the first female promoters in the sport. She staged the Maureen Connolly Brinker Memorial Tournament in 1969. Three years later, it became the first televised women’s tournament and the first to award prize money. The tournament evolved into the Virginia Slims of Dallas.

Jeffett and Connolly, a nine-time Grand Slam singles champion, co-founded the Maureen Connolly Brinker Tennis Foundation to help get more people involved in the sport.

Jeffett was the longtime chair of both the U.S. Wightman Cup and Federation Cup.

She is the only American woman who isn’t a Wimbledon champion to be named an honorary member of the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club.

Jeffett has received the USTA Service Bowl and the Golden Achievement Award, given jointly by the International Tennis Hall of Fame and the International Tennis Federation for her commitment to growing tennis worldwide.

A memorial service will be held July 14 in Dallas at St. Michael and All Angels Church.

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