6. 4-Time Forest Hills Stadium Tennis Champion Alice Marble Was Also WW2 Spy?

Forest Hills Stadium
Photo by Bryan Kwon, Courtesy of Forest Hills Stadium

Alice Marble led quite an adventurous life. She came to fame on the grass tennis courts of Forest Hills, winning U.S. Open Championships in four out of five years from 1936 to 1940. Her professional career, however, was short-lived, as it was interrupted by the outbreak of World War II. She did her part to help the war effort by playing exhibition tennis matches and promoting war bonds. Then, after she claims her air force officer husband was shot down and killed over Germany while in combat, she became entrenched in the world of espionage. According to her posthumously released memoir, Courting Danger, in 1945 Marble accepted a U.S. intelligence mission that required her to connect with a former lover, Hans Steinmetz. The Swiss banker was her key to important Nazi financial data. As her memoir relates, Marble was shot by a Nazi agent while making her escape. She recovered from the wound and went on to lead a glamorous life. While Marble’s wartime tales had largely been accepted at face value, some researchers have cast doubt on the veracity of her story in recent years. What’s undeniable is Marble’s incredible tennis record and her legacy of fighting for Civil Rights in the sports industry.