Mr. Elmaleh, chairman of the real estate development firm World-Wide Group, was born in Morocco in 1918 and grew up in Brooklyn, NY. Living in Bensonhurst during the Great Depression, he played all the usual street games — stickball, stoopball, punchball, boxball. But handball grabbed his attention, and he honed his game on the courts in Gravesend, Borough Park and Manhattan Beach. He won a national doubles championship in 1951 and was a national runner-up in singles. But soon after, he was introduced to squash at the City Athletic Club, and never went back.
Mr. Elmaleh has dedicated much of his life to the game. He won the 1968 national squash doubles championships in St. Louis at age 49, with the squash legend Victor Niederhoffer, who was 23. At the time, The St. Louis Post-Dispatch published an article with the headline: “49 Too Old for Squash? Don’t Tell Vic Elmaleh.” He laughed when he pointed out the headline recently. “Good thing no one ever told me,” he said. In 2001, he won the Heights Casino Pro-Am tournament in Brooklyn, NY with Gary Waite, then the top-ranked player in the world.
Elmaleh’s Squash Doubles Championships
- 1959 Buffalo Invitation Doubles Champion with David C. Johnson, Jr.
- 1963 Johnson Memorial Doubles Champion with David C. Johnson, Jr.
- 1966 Buffalo Invitational Doubles Champion with Victor Niederhoffer
- 1968 U.S. Squash Doubles Champion with Victor Niederhoffer
- 1969 North American Open Doubles Champion with Ralph E. Howe
- 2001 Johnson Memorial Pro-Am Doubles Champion with Gary Waite