Eleonora Randolph Sears (1881-1968)

"Eleo" R. Sears, American Tennis Champion

Associated Houses



She was a direct descendant of Thomas Jefferson. She is best remembered for her beauty, sporting achievements, and her strong, eccentric personality. She was a noted equestrian, a pioneering squash player, but is best remembered for her accomplishments in tennis. She won the U.S. Doubles Championship four times, twice partnered with the legendary Hazel Wightman. She was reputed to be the first woman to own an automobile (and the first to be issued with a speeding ticket) and the first woman in Boston to fly an aeroplane solo. She was also an intrepid hiker, walking from Providence to Boston on several occasions. She inherited "Rock Edge" at Pride's Crossing, Massachusetts, from her aunt, Mrs Marian (Coolidge) Sargent. In later life she retired to Florida where she lived with Marie "Madame" Gendron (1903-2004) who inherited her whole estate. Madame retained held on to half of it, including Sears' house in Florida, her jewellery and art, and gave the rest to six hospitals in Massachusetts.
Contributed by Mark Meredith on 20/02/2019 and last updated on 21/08/2023.