Alphonzo Bell graduated from Occidental College in Los Angeles in 1895 and then studied at the San Francisco Theological Seminary for two years. In 1897 he entered into the first of his many real estate deals and, as a result of oil being found on one of his properties in 1922, he became an immensely wealthy man. He won the first of his three Southern California singles titles in 1900 and was on the winning doubles team three times. He was ranked nationally only once when, in 1904, he was placed ninth in the singles ratings. At the Olympics he was awarded joint third place in the singles after losing to the eventual champion, Beals Wright, in the semi-finals. In the doubles, Bell, and Robert LeRoy of Columbia University, lost in straight sets in the final to the Harvard pair of Wright and Edgar Leonard.