Gardnar Mulloy, J.D. '38, a dedicated Miami Hurricane, lived to be the oldest member of the International Tennis Hall of Fame at 102 years old, creating a legacy of sportsmanship and dedication. Born Nov. 22, 1914, in Washington, D.C., Gardnar Putnam Mulloy earned both his undergraduate and law degrees from the University of Miami. Mulloy played football and boxed for the Miami Hurricanes before starting the tennis program and becoming the first tennis coach.
Mulloy, inducted into the University of Miami sports hall of fame in 1967, was also a member of nine sports halls of fames throughout the country. His fierce, competitive nature led him to great heights and left a high bar for those that aspire to learn from Mulloy's playing style.
Ed Rubinoff, J.D. '66, also an alumnus of the the law school at University of Miami and one of Mulloy’s doubles partners, describes the larger than life tennis star as a compassionate and heroic leader. The two traveled and played tennis as a doubles team on the international circuit and won the European Doubles Championship in Monte Carlo in 1962.
A life-size mural of Mulloy, celebrating his influence on campus, hangs in the Schwartz Athletic Center. He was also the founding member of the Lambda Chi Fraternity chapter at UM.
Mulloy served in the Navy for four years beginning at the age of 26 as a lieutenant commander and led a flotilla of Navy ships in the invasion of Europe during WWII. His service career garnered numerous accolades, including the French Legion of Honor just over a year ago.
Rubinoff shared little known stories about Mulloy’s heroism in the war and his human compassion. "In the midst of a battle, he disobeyed orders and at great danger to himself and the crew on his ship, rescued 2,500 men off of a sinking troop ship," said Rubinoff. "In addition, Gardner was an animal lover and owner of 5 dogs and 4 cats. Over 30 years ago, he mortgaged his own property to buy a site and established Pet Rescue, a sanctuary for unwanted dogs and cats and for years he was its primary fundraiser."
In honor of Gardner Mulloy’s legacy at the U, Mulloy's family and friends would like to extend an open invitation to a celebration of life, Thursday, March 23 from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Newman Alumni Center, 6200 San Amaro Drive, Coral Gables.