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Raoul Fleischmann

Raoul Fleischmann

Rauol Herbert Fleischmann would have been the first to admit with an amused look, that he was not a great croqueteer. But he contributed to the game, from its heyday in Great Neck and Port Washington where he had his own lovely course, a sense of grace and gentlemanliness often lacking in the violent mallet warfare of those days. Fleischmann came from a wealthy family whose business was Bond Bread. He went to Princeton and Williams College where he occasionally acted. After graduation, Fleischmann found that the baking business did not fulfill his cultured, aesthetic tastes. He made his move, in the right direction, by joining with Harold Ross, then endeavoring to fund a new magazine concept, to be called The New Yorker. With Fleischmann as publisher, Ross as editor, The New Yorker, after many ups and downs, became firmly established as the fashioner of literary tastes and, through its remarkable list of contributors, many of them croquet players, a major force in the famed Algonquin Round Table group, down the street from The New Yorker's offices.

Although the business and editorial departments were kept separate by Ross even to the switchboards, Fleischmann had the sharp wit and taste to be welcome in either area.

Devoted to good food, fine spirits and attractive wives — he had three (separately, of course) — Fleischmann also loved to wield a mallet which he did, often in a golf stroke. He was a charming though occasionally erratic player, but he had the power to surprise with an unexpected sense of shots.

As opposed to today's informal clothing, or lack of it seen on the croquet lawn, Rauol would appear impeccably clad, either in grey or white flannels and the black and white shoes which seem, like croquet, to have become stylish again.

Rauol Fleischmann is a splendid addition to our Croquet Hall of Fame. His devotion to the game and the good humor and eternal smile he brought to it made him one of croquet's originals.

Raoul Fleischmann was inducted into the United States Croquet Hall of Fame in 1982.

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