Traditionally, croquet's social history has been very rich,particularly on the north shore of Long Island, in Palm Beach and in Newport. No one has lent more to this heritage of gentility and social grace than Walter S. Gubelmann. Walter's generous contributions to the sport have transcended the test of time and can be measured more than ever in contemporary terms, ever proving his dedication to the sport.
Walter has a staggering number of lifetime accomplishments. As the son of William S. Gubelmann, a pioneer inventor of business machine technology, Walter graduated from Yale University in 1931 and ultimately took on the management of the family held Realty and Industrial Corporation. An avid sports man, and a sailor of notable repute, Walter has toured the world aboard his 73 foot yacht, Windago, and headed the New York Yacht Club syndicate's successful defense of the America's Cup by the Constellation in 1964. His philanthropic contributions, too numerous to mention, are highlighted by his 25 year tenure as the President of the Society of the Four Arts, in Palm Beach, Florida. His active interest in politics has been confirmed by his influential support of the Republican party.
Most recently, Walter took great initiative in reestablishing croquet in Newport, when he and Barton moved into their lovely home, Starboard House, in 1983. More than his past Presidencies of the Newport Croquet Club and the Newport Casino Croquet Club, Walter is, and always will be, referred to as the "Chairman of the Board of Newport Croquet".
His straw boater and rakish bow tie bring him instant recognition on any croquet court. His sportsmanly good humor has made him a popular competitor and his unflagging support of croquet serves as a beacon to croquet enthusiasts.
While Walter Gubelmann will always be thought of as a world class sailor, top level business executive, political supporter and generous philanthropist, croquet players will always think of him a great gentleman of the sport.
Walter Gubelmann was inducted into the United States Croquet Hall of Fame in 1987.