Alice Marble was a World No. 1 American tennis player who won 18 Grand Slam championships (1936–40): 5 in Singles, 6 in Women’s Doubles, and 7 in Mixed Doubles.
The first lady to serve and volley, and noted for aggressive play called the “killer instinct” approach. This may account for her decisive and easy victories in challenge and early rounds.
For a brief time after retirement, she worked on the Editorial Advisory Board of DC Comics and was credited as an Associate Editor on Wonder Woman. She created the “Wonder Women of History” feature for the comics, which told the stories of prominent women of history in comic form.
During World War II, Marble was married to Joe Crowley, a pilot, who was killed in action over Germany. Only days before his death, she miscarried their child following a car accident. After an attempt to kill herself, she recuperated and, in 1945, agreed to spy for U.S. intelligence. Her mission involved renewing contact with a former lover, a Swiss banker, and obtaining Nazi financial data. The operation ended when a Nazi agent shot her in the back, but she was extracted and recovered. Few details of the operation ever emerged. The story was told only after her death when Courting Danger, a second autobiography, was published.
Marble was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame. She then settled in Palm Desert, California, where she taught tennis until her death.