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USC’s 1946 NCAA Singles and Doubles Winner Bob Falkenburg, A Wimbledon and U.S. Open Champ, Dies

Jan 11, 2022

LOS ANGELES — Bob Falkenburg, who won the 1946 NCAA singles and doubles titles at USC and went on to be a Wimbledon and U.S. Open champion, died on Jan. 6 in Santa Ynez, Calif., from natural causes.  He was 95.

Known for his powerful serve, he won the 1948 Wimbledon singles title, fighting off three championship points, as well as the doubles crowns at the U.S. Open in 1944 with Don McNeill and at Wimbledon in 1947 with Jack Kramer.

He teamed with his brother, Tom, in winning the 1956 NCAA doubles championship as Trojans.

While at Fairfax High in Los Angeles in the early 1940s, Bob won the National Interscholastic singles title and the national doubles title with his brother Tom. He was the Los Angeles city singles title holder in 1943.

He was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1974, the Intercollegiate Tennis Hall of Fame in 1985, the Fairfax High School Hall of Fame in 1999, the USC Athletic Hall of Fame in 2009 and the Southern California Tennis Association Hall of Fame in 2010.   

He then started a successful food and restaurant business in Brazil in the mid-1950s, opening a series of fast food and ice cream shops called Bob's.  The business, which he sold in 1974, now has more than 1,000 locations.  

He became a Brazilian citizen and played Davis Cup matches for that country in 1954 and 1955. 

Afterwards, he was an importer/exporter in California.

He also was an outstanding golfer, winning the Brazilian amateur championship three times.

He is survived by his wife Lourdes, daughter Claudia, son Robert II, four grandchildren and five great grandchildren.