Charles Garfinkel

Charles Garfinkel

Class of 1956

Sport(s): Tennis

Year Inducted: 2003

Charles “the Gar” Garfinkel graduated from Bennett in 1956. He is considered by many to be the greatest all around racket sports star to have ever competed in Western New York. “The Gar” was the first racket sport athlete selected to the Greater Buffalo Hall of Fame.

During his tennis career at Bennett, Charlie was All High first team in 1955 and 1956, winning twenty two straight matches. Bennett captured the Bapst Trophy, emblematic of city tennis supremacy, both years. His 1956 team made Buffalo public school tennis history by completing a perfect season, winning all team and individual matches, a feat unprecedented in 39 years of competition.

In 1956, Garfinkel also played on Bennett’s varsity basketball team.

Charlie’s feats as a racket sports star are legendary. Over the years, he won 24 national racquetball titles, 14 city championships, 32 state titles, and 25 eastern championships. He played on the men’s pro tour for 6 years and was ranked as high as number 5 in the world.

In tennis he won 3 national titles, 4 city singles titles, 11 city doubles titles, and 26 Muny titles, more than any present player.

In 1969, he won city championships in tennis, squash, and racquetball. By his accomplishments, he became the only player WNY history to win all three titles.

Charlie is now a member of 7 Hall of Fames. Included are the Greater Buffalo Hall of Fame, National Racquetball Hall of Fame, the International Masters Racquetball Hall of Fame, the WNY Racquetball Hall of Fame, Buffalo State College Hall of Fame, Jewish Center Hall of Fame, and tonight, the Bennett High School Sports Hall of Fame.

Garfinkel, a Buffalo State College graduate, resides with his family in Amherst. He is an elementary school teacher in the Buffalo Public School System.