U.S. Postal Service Honors Legendary Tennis Champ At SMU

Chris Sommer
April 23, 2019 - 5:05 pm

United States Postal Service

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DALLAS (1080 KRLD) - They called her "Little Mo," but she was a giant in women's tennis.

In a ceremony Tuesday at Southern Methodist University, the U.S. Postal Service issued a Forever stamp that honors tennis legend Maureen Connolly Brinker.

In the early 1950s, the 5-foot-4-inch Connally dominated her sport. From 1951 to 1954, she was the top-ranked women's player in the world. Connally won three Wimbledon titles among her nine major singles championships. In 1953, she became the first woman to capture the single-season Grand Slam, claiming victories in the Australian Open, French Open, Wimbledon and U.S. Championships.

A sportswriter dubbed Connally "Little Mo" - after the battleship USS Missouri, known as "Big Mo" - while watching her unleash one explosive groundstroke after another.

Connally's tennis career came to a stunning end in 1954, when her leg was severely injured in a horseback riding accident. The following year, Connally married Norman Brinker, who would go on to oversee the locally-based Brinker International restaurant empire.  

Connally Brinker was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1968.

​Connally Brinker spent the remainder of her life in Dallas with her husband and their two daughters. She died from cancer at age 34 in June 1969.