Howard Z. Blum
Class of 1999
Knoxville Sports Hall of Fame, 2000
A resident of Knoxville, Tennessee for more than 40 years, Howard Blum became a nationally ranked senior player at 55 years of age. In 2004, he ranked no. 1 in Tennessee, no. 4 in the Southeast, and no. 18 nationally in the men’s 75-80 category. An enthusiastic supporter of the Helen Ross McNabb Center in Knoxville, Blum works closely with the Knoxville Challenger, a fundraising tournament on the United States Tennis Association’s Pro Circuit series which provides professional opportunities for aspiring young tennis players. The Knoxville Challenger has raised almost three quarters of a million dollars for the Center. Blum has also been a leader in several other McNabb fundraising campaigns that collectively raised more than $3 million dollars. Honored for his service to the Center in 2015, Blum has served the Center for more than 38 years.
Besides his devoted service to the McNabb Center, Blum served the Knoxville Public Building Authority for 18 years, the Boys & Girls Club of the Tennessee River Valley for 26 years, the East TN Foundation for 18 years, the Tennessee Tennis Patrons Foundation for 12 years, the Greater Knoxville Tennis Association for 14 years, and the Volunteer Ministry Center for 12 years. He also served as the vice president of Sign Corporation of America and was a managing partner at Cedar Bluff Racquet Club.
In Blum’s early sports years he played professional baseball for the Cleveland Indians between 1946-1952. From 1979-2004 he was the owner of a private tennis club and is the founder and a former president of the Greater Knoxville Tennis Association. In 2014, Blum was honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award by the Greater Knoxville Tennis Association.