Bobby Powell

Biographical information

RolesCompeted in Olympic Games
Full nameRobert Branks "Bobby"•Powell
Used nameBobby•Powell
Born2 April 1881 in Victoria, British Columbia (CAN)
Died28 April 1917 in Vimy, Pas-de-Calais (FRA)
NOC Canada


Bobby Powell was considered, in his day, one of Canada’s greatest tennis players. He founded the North Pacific Lawn Tennis Association in 1904 and a year later won a major tennis championship in Scotland that brought him to national prominence. Several years later he captained Canada’s tennis delegation to the 1908 Summer Olympics, where he placed joint-ninth in the singles competition and, alongside James Foulkes, joint-seventh in the doubles tournament. He also helped represent Canada at the 1913 Davis Cup (then known as the International Lawn Tennis Challenge), the nation’s first appearance at the event. It was also their best showing, as they reached (and lost) the World Group final against the United States, the eventual champions, a feat that Canada has, as of 2010, been unable to match. Outside of tennis he was an attorney and also served as the private secretary of Henri-Gustave Joly de Lotbinière, the seventh lieutenant governor of Quebec, from 1900 through 1904.

Powell was a lieutenant in the Canadian Army and served with the 50th Gordon Highlander before transferring to the 48th Canadian Infantry Battalion during World War I. On April 28, 1917 he was killed in action while fighting in France, while leading a platoon of 50 men during the battle of Vimy Ridge.Powell was inducted into the Canadian Tennis Hall of Fame in 1893, and into the USTA Pacific Northwest Hall of Fame in 2000.


Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal As
1908 Summer Olympics Tennis CAN Bobby Powell
Singles, Men (Olympic) =9
Doubles, Men (Olympic) John Foulkes =7

Special Notes