Dick Williams

Biographical information

RolesCompeted in Olympic Games
Full nameRichard Norris "Dick"•Williams, III
Used nameDick•Williams
Born29 January 1891 in Genève (Geneva), Genève (SUI)
Died2 June 1968 in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania (USA)
Measurements182 cm
AffiliationsCalifornia Golden Bears, Berkeley (USA)
NOC United States
Medals OG
Gold 1
Silver 0
Bronze 0
Total 1


The early years of Dick Williams’ life were spent in Lausanne where his father, a tennis enthusiast, was working; under his father’s tutelage he won the Swiss Junior title at the age of 12. In 1912, Mr. Williams accompanied his son to America when Dick was accepted for Harvard. Tragically they chose to travel aboard the ill-fated Titanic. Although his son survived the ordeal of spending more than an hour in the icy Atlantic, Mr. Williams, Sr. perished.

Dick Williams won the mixed doubles at the U.S. championships and the national clay court singles in his first American season (1912) and was ranked second nationally that year. In 1913, while still at Harvard, he began his Davis Cup career and in his eight single matches that year he lost only to James Parke, the Irish rugby football international, in the match against Great Britain. Williams was to remain a Davis Cup player until 1926 and in the intervening years he won the U.S. singles title twice and the men’s doubles on two occasions. Williams graduated from Harvard in 1916 and was soon with the armed forces. He saw active service as a captain of artillery and served as an aide to Major Gen. John Harbord, winning the Croix de Guerre and the Legion d’Honneur in the second battle of the Marne.

After the war, Williams played his tennis at the Longwood Cricket Club and started his career as a stockbroker. In 1920 he teamed up with Charles Garland and they became the only Harvard-Yale combination to ever win the Wimbledon doubles. At the 1924 Olympics, Dick Williams went out to Henri Cochet in the quarter-finals of the singles; in the men’s doubles, playing with his former Harvard teammate, Watson Washburn, he again lost in the quarter-finals when the South Africans, Condon and Richardson, came back to win after trailing by two sets to one. However, in the mixed doubles, with Hazel Wightman as his partner, they scored a comfortable victory after disposing of the Wimbledon champions, Kitty McKane and Brian Gilbert of Great Britain, in the semi-finals.


Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal As
1924 Summer Olympics Tennis USA Dick Williams
Singles, Men (Olympic) =5
Doubles, Mixed (Olympic) Hazel Wightman 1 Gold
Doubles, Men (Olympic) Watty Washburn =5

Special Notes