Bud Collins, commentator, historian, and columnist

Biography from Bud’s wife, Anita Ruthling Klaussen — 4/1/2015

About Bud

Arthur Worth “Bud” Collins has been involved in sports writing in Boston since 1955.

He was the first print journalist to make the leap from writing to television, which he did in 1963, at the start of his Boston Globe career. Now it is common place with newspaper folks.

His career began at WGBH. They were the first network to televise tennis broadly in the US. Bud went on to work for all the networks at one time or another. He was well known as the face of NBC broadcast of “Breakfast at Wimbledon” during his 35 years with the network.

Bud believed in having fun in his broadcasts and is credited with popularizing tennis in the US. He is often cited for his “funny pants,” which have been created by Charlie Davidson of the Andover Shop in Cambridge from fabric we have bought during our travels.

Hailing from the mid-west, Bud grew up in Berea, Ohio, came to Boston for Graduate school at Boston University and decided to stay.

Bud has been an op-ed columnist and covered the war in Viet Nam for the Boston Globe. His first beat in sports was boxing. Bud traveled with Muhammad Ali to most of his fights including Lewiston, Maine, and the Rumble in the Jungle. In addition, he covered all the Boston teams in his career, finally specializing in tennis for the past many decades.

His career has taken him around the world many times while covering tennis. He is considered to be the authoritative historian of the game and has written several books, most recently: “The Bud Collins History of Tennis” and a reissue of “The Education of a Tennis Player,” Rod Laver’s biography. Bud has covered 148 major tournaments (Australian, French, Wimbledon and US Championships) in his career.

Notable among his numerous awards, Bud was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1994 and received the Red Smith award in 1999.

He is also known as a competitive tennis player having won the US indoor mixed doubles in 1961 with Janet Hopps and reaching the finals of the French Open Senior Doubles in 1975.

He lives in Brookline with his wife, Anita Ruthling Klaussen.

Screen Shot 2015-04-04 at 1.34.50 PM

Tennis Channel documentary which first aired at the 2013 US Open, including Collins years at WGBH, starting at 20 minutes.


Bud at WGBH

1966 Collins at LCC

Primitive “Booth” at Longwood, 1964.

1964 Collins WGBH

Broadcasting from Longwood for WGBH, 1966.

1967 Collins David Ives WGBH fundraiser

Bud with David Ives at a WGBH fundraiser, 1967.

1968 Collins Ashe 2

Bud interviewing Arthur Ashe for WGBH, 1968.

1980 Collins Pavorati097

At Longwood with Pavarotti 1980 while working for WGBH

Commentary Experience

  • ESPN: 2007-09
  • Tennis Channel: 2007-09
  • NBC – Sports Commentator: 1964 and 1972 to 2007
  • PBS – WGBH Sports Commentator: 1963-1988
  • ABC Australia – Sports Commentator – 1996 to 2011
  • The Tennis Channel – 2004 to present
  • Has also commentated at various times for: CBS, ESPN, USA, CNN, MSG, SKY, HBO, New Zealand TV, Eurosport, TV Moscow

Journalism Experience

  • Boston Globe: Sports Columnist 1963-2012
  • Boston Globe: Travel Columnist 1977 to 2001
  • Boston Herald: Sportswriter 1955-1963
  • Sports Business Journal: Monthly Columnist 1998- 2002
  • He has also contributed to such publications as Sports Illustrated, New York Times, New York Times Sunday Magazine, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Family Circle, The Guardian, Sunday Times of London, International Herald Tribune, Melbourne Age, Tennis Week, Tennis Magazine, and Tennis Life
  • Bud has covered events in a variety of sports on all continents including: The World Series, Olympic Games, Davis Cup competition, Wimbledon, French Open, Australian Open, and US Open tennis championships. He has covered the US Open and British Open golf. He covered most of Muhammad Ali’s fights, championship playoff games in football, basketball, and ice hockey.
  • He has covered a variety of non-sport stories, ranging from the Viet Nam War and national political campaigns to African Safaris and outdoor treks in Nepal, Tibet, Bhutan and New Zealand. He was an op-ed columnist at the Globe as well.

Books Written

  • Our Boston – 2013 collection of essays
  • Bud Collins History of Tennis – 2008; second edition, Sept 2009 Coach: collection of essays – 2004 Edited by Andrew Blauner
  • Bud Collins Total Tennis: the Ultimate Tennis Encyclopedia – 2003 Bud Collins editor
  • The Best American Sports Stories: 2001 edition Bud Collins editor
  • Bud Collins Tennis Encyclopedia – 1997
  • The Bud Collins Modern Encyclopedia of Tennis – 1993
  • My Life With The Pros – autobiography – 1989
  • Bud Collins Tennis Encyclopedia – 1977
  • Evonne – with Evonne Goolagong – 1974
  • The Education of a Tennis Player – with Rod Laver – 1971, reissued Sept 2009

Special Recognition

  • Ron Bookman Award – 2007 Media Excellence Award Sportscasters and Sportswriters Hall of Fame – April 2002
  • Red Smith Award – June 1999
  • Selected by Howard Gottlieb to be included in Boston University’s collection of Twentieth Century Greats; they have Bud’s “papers”
  • Inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame – July 9, 1994
  • Winner of Tennis Magazine’s Best Pro-Match Interview Award – 1989 First recipient award of the US Tennis Writer’s Ron Bookman Award
  • Named by Tennis Magazine as both Best Announcer and Best Writer – for 1987
  • Featured in national publications as Preeminent Tennis Announcer for 1987 in connection with Wimbledon telecasts – New York Newsday, Cleveland Plain Dealer, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post and Sports Illustrated.
  • Tennis Channel Documentary premiered Sept 2013

Promotional Products

  • Featured in Mountain Dew commercial with Andre Agassi – airing internationally – 1996-1997
  • Celebrity Host – MFS Championships – Longwood Cricket Club, Boston 1997
  • Celebrity Host – Shreve, Crump and Low’s 200th Anniversary and Davis Cup trophy event 1996
  • Celebrity Guest – Cigna Co. US Open 1996-2003
  • Celebrity Guest – Pepsi Cola – 1995, 1996, 1997
  • Celebrity Guest – Northwest Airlines Hall of Fame event – 1996
  • Celebrity Guest – Colombian Coffee – US Open – Sept. 1995, 96, 97
  • Host of Media Day – Thriftway ATP Tournament Cincinnati – July 1995
  • Guest Speaker – Merrill Lynch US Open Dinner, Sept. 1993, 1994
  • Host of Wellbridge Open House sponsored by Nutrasweet Company, Sept 1992
  • Host of Bud Collins Hackers tournament for 22 years at the Colony Beach and Tennis Club on Longboat Key, Florida
  • Host of GTE Superbowl Corporate Outing – 1987-1992
 Host of Easter Bowl telecast – Doral Hotel, Miami, FL 1989, 1992, 1993, 1997
  • Celebrity Guest Massachusetts Mutual – US Open – 1999,2003, 04, 05 Celebrity Guest Morgan Stanley – US Open 2003
  • Celebrity Guest J. P. Morgan Chase Bank 1998-2006

Athletic Highlights

  • US indoor Mixed Doubles Champion with Janet Hopps 1961
  • French Open Senior Doubles Finalist with Jack Crawford (from Boston) 1975


  • Psych – serial about psychic detective, Bud was in one episode, May 2006 USA TV/NBC TV
  • Martin Short Show on Broadway, NYC: Fame Becomes Me – Bud was guest on the show August 2006
  • Narrator “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas” with the Boston Pops, December 2009

Majors in Tennis Covered

As of US Open 2013: 157 majors covered

  • Australian Open – 1985, 1988, 1993-2011 (minus 2000) 19
  • French Open – 1973-2010 (minus two) Missed 2011 – 35
  • Wimbledon – 1968 – 2013 45
  • US Championships – 1955 – 1969 Doubles; 1956, 1963-20013 Singles and doubles 59

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