John Ryerson (tennis)

John Albert Ryerson (March 1866 – May 16, 1910) was an American tennis player active in the late 19th century. He committed suicide in 1910.[1]

John Ryerson
Full nameJohn Albert Ryerson
Country (sports) United States
BornMarch 1866
New York
DiedMay 16, 1910 (aged 44)
Chicago, Illinois
Turned pro1886 (amateur tour)
Grand Slam Singles results
US OpenQF (1888, 1890)

Tennis careerEdit

Ryerson reached the quarterfinals of the U.S. National Championships in 1888 and 1890. In 1892, he reached the Challenge Round of the Western States Championships, losing to Samuel T. Chase.


Ryerson later moved to Chicago and was a business manager and was the president of an automobile manufacturer, the Ideal Electric Company.[2] He was married to Violet Stone and had a son, John W. Ryerson.

In November 1909, Ryerson invested $35,000 (equivalent to $960,000 in 2019) into the business. The company manufactured electric Brougham cars. He reportedly became distraught when he thought the business was failing, when figures showed assets of only $48,305.[3]

Ryerson committed suicide at approximately 6:10 in the evening on May 16, 1910, jumping out the 13th floor of the Chamber of Commerce building. A man on the 13th floor, E. J. Fucik, was the only known witness to his death, saying, "I saw him raise his hands high in the air and throw himself over the railing." Ryerson had no known business at the building but was one of several recent suicides there. He did not leave a suicide note, but on a note inside his pocket he left the name and address of his brother and had written Psalm 4:8, "I will both lay me down in peace to sleep for thou Lord only maketh me dwell in safety."[4]

The company was not doomed, however. His younger brother, Dr. Edwin Warner Ryerson (1872–1961),[5] took charge of the company as vice president and treasurer, and it was successfully reorganized with additional investments.[3]

Grand Slam finalsEdit

Doubles (1 runner-up)Edit

Result Year Championship Surface Partner Opponents Score
Loss 1890 U.S. National Championships Grass   Charles Carver   Valentine Hall
  Clarence Hobart
3–6, 6–4, 2–6, 6–2, 3–6


  1. ^ "John A. Ryerson Kills Self". Iowa City Press-Citizen. May 18, 1910. p. 8. John A. Ryerson, former tennis champion, committed suicide here in a sensational manner while temporarily insane.
  2. ^ "The Ideal Electric Automobile & The Ideal Electric Co". American Automobiles. Retrieved July 11, 2017.
  3. ^ a b "Find Ryerson Killed Himself Falsely Alarmed Over Debts". Chicago Tribune. August 28, 1910. p. 3.
  4. ^ "John Ryerson Jumps to Death – Plunges from the Thirteenth Floor Down Inner Court of the Chamber of Commerce Building". Chicago Tribune. May 17, 1910. p. 1.
  5. ^ Brand, Richard A. (2008). "Arthrodesing Operations on the Feet". Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research. 466 (1): 5–14. doi:10.1007/s11999-007-0035-0. ISSN 0009-921X. PMC 2505279. PMID 18196368.