Lee Burling

Inducted in 2006

Born: Manchester, New Hampshire

Resides: Oswego, New York

Family: Two children

Anyone for tennis? How about lacrosse? Or squash? Maybe badminton? Perhaps field hockey?

Lee Burling is ready! This dynamic New England native has played – and excelled – in all of the above. A resident of Oswego and a teacher at the Eastside Tennis club in Manlius, she is a 1954 graduate of Boston University’s Sergent College where she began playing lacrosse and performed well enough to make the US team.

In college, she won numerous tennis and badminton titles and was a member of the field hockey, tennis and lacrosse teams. At age 36, she began playing squash and by 1971 she was ranked third in the country. A decade later, she returned to tennis and was ranked second in the USA in 45- plus doubles age group. In 1979, she was ranked third in the East and ninth in the country. She won the Women’s World Championship in the 2000 sixty-five and over category and has been chosen for the national team.

Lee has won over 35 national singles and double tennis championships. Perhaps her best year was in 2000 when she garnered five national singles and doubles titles. She was 1999’s forth- ranked in the world competition in the 65 and over group. Throughout her career she has won more that 35 national singles and double championships, including the 1997 National 65 Women’s indoor singles crown.

Again: Anyone for tennis? Ask Lee Burling!

Carreer highlights:

Burling won the Massachusetts State Badminton Championship in 1952 and the Eastern Open Championship in 1953. In 1954, she teamed with Margaret Varner and was runner-up in the Montreal Championships. Both women got to the finals of every doubles tournament on the East Coast that year only to finish second each time. As a singles player, Burling lost to Varner in the semifinals of the National badminton tournament and gained a national ranking of fourth.

1952: Won the All-College tennis doubles at Longwood.

Taking up lacrosse in 1951, Burling made the U.S. team in 1954 thanks to the coaching of Gretchen Schuyler, also a Hall of Fame member, among others. She made the U.S. squad from 1954-60 and in 1957, as a member of the Reserve team, she toured the British Isles.

1954: Graduated Boston University’s Sargent College

1956: Won Massachusetts State Badminton Championship

Northeast & Southeast Sectional teams

She didn't really compete seriously in the sport until she was 40, when she played pro-tennis at Syracuse, NY. Her success carried over in the tennis courts, however, as she entered the Senior Women's circuit and competed in the National Grass Court Championships and Forest Hills and the National Clay Court Championships in Houston. In 1978, she was ranked second in the 45 doubles. The following year she was ranked third in the east by the E.T.A. in the 40 singles and ninth nationally.

In 1968, Burling took up squash at the age of 36 and was a member of the top ten the next six years. In 1971, she was ranked third in the country.

1979 Was third in the east by the E.T.A. in the 40 singles and ninth nationally.
  • Women’s world tennis champion in the 65-and-over category. She had been selected four the US Women’s 65 tennis team.

1982 : Inducted into the Boston University Sports Hall of Fame

In 1998 alone, she won 5 national 65 women’s singles and doubles titles.

In 1999, she was ranked fourth in the world and number one in the US in women’s 65 tennis.

The Oswego resident has played on seven US women’s tennis teams in international competition, including the 1996 US Women’s team that won the Alice Marble Cup in Austria.

She has represented the USA in international competition in lacrosse, squash, badminton and field hockey.