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Ludwig, Count von Salm-Hoogstraeten

Biographical information

TypeCompeted in Olympic Games
SexMale
Full nameLudwig Albrecht Constantin Maria•von Salm-Hoogstraeten
Used nameLudwig, Count•von Salm-Hoogstraeten
Nick/petnamesLudi
Born24 February 1885 in Bad Homburg vor der Höhe, Hessen (GER)
Died23 July 1944 in Budapest (HUN)
Title(s)Count
NOC Austria

Biography

Ludwig, Graf (Count) von Salm-Hoogstraeten was an Austrian Davis Cup player who competed for the Austrian team between 1924-28 in six ties, winning 4 of 12 matches. Graf von Salm-Hoogstraeten lost in the singles quarter-finals at the 1912 Olympics. Born to wealthy German nobility, he inherited a fortune because he was the oldest child.

Graf von Salm-Hoogstraeten, or Ludi, as he was known, was primarily known as a doubles player. In 1914 he reached the mixed doubles final at the French Championships and the doubles final at the World Hard Court Championships. He played Wimbledon once, prior to the war, losing in the second round of singles, but did better by reaching the All-Comers final of the 1914 French Championships.

After the war, Ludi won the 1920 German doubles title alongside Oskar Kreuzer. He then fell victim to his own attitude and bad behavior on the court. In 1924 he was banned from all French Riviera clubs. In 1925 the Austrian Tennis Federation suspended his playing license. These bans were usually transient, but over the next few years, he had similar McEnrovian run-ins with the tennis authorities.

Ludi was a dragoon officer in the Austrian Army and was a military aide to the Governor of Vienna during World War I. He lost much of his fortune in card games in the military. Ludi settled in Budapest where he became a wine merchant, and ironically, he gave tennis etiquette and fair-play lessons to Viennese children. He was married twice, and married well, the first time to Maria von Kramsta, a member of the wealthy Kramsta business family, and the second time to Mary Millicent Abigail Rogers, a socialite, fashion icon, and art collector, who was the granddaughter of Standard Oil tycoon Hennry Huttleston Rogers, and an heiress to his fortune.

On 23 July 1944 Graf von Salm-Hoogstraeten jumped from the Hotel Dunapalota-Ritz balcony onto the Danube Promenade, killing himself instantly. Various reasons are given for his suicide. It is said he was escaping the Nazi SS, who were coming after him because he was Jewish. A friend, Sidney Wood, claimed the Nazis had asked him to become a spy, which he refused, and caused them to pursue him. Others said he was actually an anti-Semite and a Nazi collaborator, choosing suicide to avoid post-war reprisals.

Results

Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal As
1912 Summer Olympics Tennis AUT Ludwig, Count von Salm-Hoogstraeten
Singles, Men (Olympic) =5
Doubles, Men (Olympic) Herbert Planner von Plaun DNS

Special Notes