Pancho González

Richard Gonzales
Birth Name:
Ricardo Alonso González
Birth Date:
May 9, 1928
Birth Place:
Los Angeles, California
Death Date:
July 3, 1995
Place of Death:
Sunrise Hospital, Las Vegas, Nevada
Cause of Death:
Stomach cancer
Cemetery Name:
Palm Memorial Park
Claim to Fame:
Often called "The Greatest Tennis Player to Never Win Wimbledon", Pancho González was one of the greatest tennis player in the history of the sport. During his life time he won 111 titles including 15 major singles titles (including two U.S. National Singles Championships in 1948 and 1949) and 13 Professional Grand Slam titles. He also won three Tournament of Champions professional events in 1957, 1958, and 1959. He was ranked world amateur No. 1 in 1948 and in 1949. González was a prominent professional champion in the 1950s and 1960s, winning world professional championship tours between 1954 and 1961 and was the world #1-ranked male tennis player professional between 1952 and 1961. Sadly he died in near poverty, estranged from his family and few friends he had. Yet even today, in any discussion of the "best tennis player of all time," Gonzalez is named among a group that includes Bill Tilden, Ellsworth Vines, Rod Laver, Jack Kramer, Budge, Bjorn Borg and John McEnroe. He was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1968.

The Rest of the Story

If there was ever a poster child for anger management, it would be Pancho González. González married and divorced six times and had nine children; with only his last wife was he on speaking terms. Upon retirement González became a television commentator for ABC, a rare presence at tournaments and was described as an adequate but unmotivated commentator. For decades González had made US$75,000 a year from an endorsement contract with Spalding for racquets and balls but was unable to get along with the company personnel. Finally, in 1981, after nearly 30 years, Spalding refused to renew the contract. He had also been the Tennis Director and Tournament Director at Caesars Palace on the Las Vegas Strip for 16 years, another lucrative job. In 1985, he was fired after refusing to give playing lessons to the wife of his boss. As S. L. Price wrote about Gonzales in a 2002 Sports Illustrated article, “There was no more perfect match than Pancho and Vegas: both dark and disreputable, both hard and mean and impossible to ignore.”

Cemetery Information:

Final Resting Place:

Palm Memorial Park

7600 S Eastern Avenue

Las Vegas, Nevada, 89123


North America


Map of Palm Memorial Park in Las Vegas, NV
Map of Palm Memorial Park in Las Vegas, NV

Grave Location:

Resurrection Garden, Space 616, Row C

Grave Location Description

As you enter the cemetery off S. Eastern Avenue, drive straight ahead and then take the right and then a quick left. Drive to the roundabout and park on the right just before the roundabout. Walk about 250 feet into Resurrection Garden towards the simple concrete bench labeled “Richard”. Just 7 rows from the concrete wall you will find one the grave of the greatest tennis players who ever played the game Pancho González.

Grave Location GPS

36.049915, -115.113985



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