Whirlwind Johnson Foundation | History of the Foundation
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History of the Foundation

Starting on a Path

For more than two decades, Dr. Johnson trained, coached, and mentored African Americans from his home tennis court in Lynchburg, Virginia. He established the Junior Development program for the American Tennis Association in 1951 and worked tirelessly behind the scenes to provide opportunities for all competitors, ultimately emerging as a towering figure in the game’s evolution.

Legacy of Greatness

Tennis historians have long lauded the noble efforts of Althea Gibson and Arthur Ashe in breaking down racial barriers in the sport. But without the guidance and encouragement of Dr. Robert Walter “Whirlwind” Johnson, Gibson, Ashe, and countless other African Americans would have been denied the opportunity to play tennis, therefore dashing not only tennis hopes and dreams, but a myriad of personal growth benefits that come with athletics – not to mention college scholarships.