Farewell to Pete Bostwick
Pete Bostwick died on 7th July 2022. His wife had died a few days ago. There will be a joint celebration of life for Pete and Lili on 7th September
George H. "Pete" Bostwick, Jr., former world champion, died on 7 July 2022 at the age of eighty-seven. He was one of the greatest amateur athletes of the twentieth century.
first played Court Tennis in Aiken, where he grew up. In his thirties, he
started playing Tennis regularly, both at the Racquet &
Tennis Club and at Greentree. He was world champion between 1969 and 1972, winning the title twice:
in 1969 he beat Frank Willis 11-8 and in 1970 he defeated his younger brother
Jimmy, 7-1. In 1972, Jimmy beat Pete to claim the title.
the most laureled players in U.S. Court Tennis history, Bostwick won the U.S.
Open singles in 1966, 1968 and 1971; the U.S. Open doubles (with Jimmy) in
1968, 1969 and 1970; the U.S. Amateur singles in 1965, 1966, 1967, 1968, 1969
and 1971; the U.S. Amateur doubles in 1969 and 1973 (with Jimmy) and in 1983
(with Ralph Howe); the U.S. Parent & Child in 1989 (with Peter, III);
the U.S. 50s in singles in 1994; the U.S. 55 doubles from 1990 through 1998 and
again 2000 and 2001 with three partners; and the U.S. 60s in singles 1995, 1996
and 1997. In the 1960s and 1970s, he served on the board of the USCTA. In 1994
Bostwick was inducted in the inaugural class into the International Court
Tennis Hall of Fame.
excelled in another half dozen other sports. He was an outstanding golfer and
lawn tennis player and remains one of just three men to play in both sports’
U.S. national championship (in 1959 at Winged Foot he missed the cut by just
three strokes; in 1952 he lost in the first round at the U.S. tennis nationals
at Forest Hills). He twice won the Gold Racquets in Tennis and Rackets on the
same weekend and won the U.S. Open in Rackets in 1969 and 1970. He was a
highly ranked squash player and won three age-group national titles. In ice
hockey he led the Middlebury team, tried out for the 1960 Olympic team and was
a stalwart on the St. Nicholas squad for a quarter century.
Not only was he the ultimate athlete, but Pete Bostwick was the ultimate sportsman—enthusiastic, competitive and always prioritizing fair play.
Over the course of his illustrious lifetime, Pete has been a legend at Real Tennis, Rackets, Tennis, Golf, Squash and Ice Hockey. The secret of his success? If you have good hand-eye coordination, you can learn to play all those games, but you never play them as you would if you stuck to one sport, Pete said at the time. I played four racquet games at a national level, but I think I could have played at a higher level if I stuck to one sport.
Pete and his younger brother, Jimmy, came from a family of athletes. Their father, Pete, a Hall of Fame polo player, jockey and champion horse trainer, was on six U.S. championship polo teams and was America's leading steeplechase rider from 1928-31, during which he rode in three British Grand Nationals. Their mother, Laura Curtis Bostwick, was an excellent rider and a fine golfer, who played in one US Women's Amateur. Great aunts, Harriot and Margaret Curtis, won four national championships in golf and founded the Curtis Cup matches, a biennial competition between the best women amateurs from the U.S. and a team from Great Britain & Ireland.
Throughout his life, Pete has been known as much for his character as for his athletic achievements. He never competed with aggression, but with relentless precision, perseverance, and a positive spirit, along with impeccable sportsmanship.