The following piece was translated and adapted from the original Wikipedia entry on Benny Berthet in French, which can be found here: https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Benny_Berthet#cite_note-Garay-2
Benny Berthet, as he was known, was born in New York City in September 1910, the son of Polish Jewish emigrants who had adopted a French surname. Benny Berthet’s family moved to France when he was nine years old. In 1931, he was classed among the top French tennis players for the first time and, at his best, was ranked number 8 in France.
Before World War II, Benny Berthet worked as a jeweller. He was called up to join the French Army after hostilities began and taken prisoner in 1941. He spent four years in Oflag IV-D Elsterhorst, a German prisoner-of-war camp for allied officers located near Hoyerswerda, then part of Lower Silesia, 44 km north-east of Dresden. With his fellow prisoners he built tennis courts within the camp in order to organize tournaments.
After the war, Benny Berthet returned to tournament play and continued to take part in the International French Championships at Stade Roland Garros in Paris until 1955. From 1955 to 1965, Benny Berthet was captain of the French Davis Cup team (only Guy Forget, who was captain from 1999 to 2012, has occupied this post for a longer period of time).
In 1973, Benny Berthet initiated the partnership/sponsorship between the French international banking group BNP Paribas and the International French Championships tournament, held each year at Stade Roland Garros in Paris. The owner of a building on the Champs-Élysées, Benny Berthet sold part of it to the Association of Tennis Professionals so that the ATP’s European branch could be set up there in the 1970s. This association was founded by the French player Pierre Darmon and the American former player Jack Kramer.
In 1977, suffering from cancer, Benny Berthet decided to create a day devoted to exhibition matches at Roland Garros with the aim of donating the profits to charities. This event now takes place each year and was initially known as Benny Berthet Day, but is now called Roland Garros Children’s Day. It is held every year on the Saturday afternoon preceding the start of the French Open.
Up until his death in January 1981 at the age of 70, Benny Berthet was secretary general of the International Lawn Tennis Club of France.
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