CHARLES D. CUNNINGHAM
CLASS OF 1999
Charles Cunningham was born in Ardmore, Oklahoma, on December 27, 1923. He graduated from Ardmore High School in 1942 and entered the U.S. Air Force. He was discharged in 1946 after serving in the USA, the Philippines, and Japan. He received a BBA degree from the University of Oklahoma in 1952 with a major in Business Management and a minor in Marketing. He was a four-year tennis letterman at O.U. winning four individual conference titles (two in singles and two in doubles). He lost only one conference singles match in his four years at college. O.U. won four conference team championships during his time there.
Charlie has played Oklahoma and Missouri Valley tournaments regularly since 1946, winning his share of titles. You will not find anyone who has ever competed against him, who will not agree that he is not only a fierce competitor, but always a gentleman.
He served as Vice-President of the Oklahoma District Tennis Association for five years and its President for two years. He served the Tulsa Area Tennis Association as its President for twenty years beginning in 1977. He was the first Professional-Manager of La Fortune Park Tennis Center, assuming those duties in 1970 when the park was first opened, and continued doing that for twenty-five years. During that time, the Tennis Center was selected by Tennis Magazine as one of the fifty most outstanding tennis centers in the United States.
In 1987, the facility was again awarded the title of Outstanding Tennis Center by the USTA. In 1974, he organized the first Men's and Women's tennis leagues, which quickly swelled to over 600 players per year.
In 1990, Charlie was inducted into the Missouri Valley Tennis Association Hall of Fame. He is one of the five original members of the Oklahoma Tennis Hall of Fame. He passed away November 27, 2012.