Dwight Davis

Biographical information

RolesCompeted in Olympic Games
Full nameDwight Filley•Davis, Sr.
Used nameDwight•Davis
Born5 July 1879 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (USA)
Died28 November 1945 in St. Louis, Missouri (USA)
Measurements183 cm / 86 kg
NOC United States


Dwight Davis is best known as the donor of the international team tennis trophy that bears his name, the Davis Cup. A top tennis player in his youth in the United States, Davis was runner-up at the US Championships in 1898 and teamed with Holcombe Ward to win the US Doubles for three consecutive years, 1899-1901. They were also runners-up at Wimbledon in doubles in 1901. Davis won the Intercollegiate Tennis Championships in 1899 while at Harvard, before there was an NCAA. In 1900 Davis helped develop the structure for the Davis Cup and donated the trophy that survives to this day.

After Harvard, Davis earned a law degree at Washington University in St. Louis. He never practiced law, but instead entered politics, initially in St. Louis. He was city public parks commissioner from 1911-15, expanding sports facilities and creating the first municipal tennis courts in the United States. Under President Calvin Coolidge, Davis served as Assistant Secretary of War (1923-25) and then Secretary of War (1925-29). From 1929-32, under President Herbert Hoover, he was Governor-General of the Philippines.


Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal As
1904 Summer Olympics Tennis USA Dwight Davis
Singles, Men (Olympic) =9
Singles, Men (Olympic (non-medal)) 2
Singles, Men (Olympic (non-medal)) 1
Doubles, Men (Olympic) Ralph McKittrick =5
Doubles, Men (Olympic (non-medal)) Ralph McKittrick 1