When it comes to the finer things, there is but one name: Jack Purcell. A man of the club but a rebel to the core, Jack was a champion, master and advocate for gaining advantage. By the time he helped design his signature court shoe in 1935, Jack had not only won five consecutive Canadian championships, he’d also been declared the world badminton champion.
A hero of sorts, Jack Purcell was a gregarious individual whose life epitomized privilege, a life full of the kinds of advantages that cannot be bought but instead must be born into. But it wasn’t Jack’s class that defined him—it was his self-confidence. For that self-confidence went beyond privilege to represent the ultimate form of rebellion: freedom. And it is with this freedom that the legacy of Jack Purcell lives on, playing however, wherever, whenever and with whomever it pleases.
Points Of Interest About Jack Purcell
1924 Canadian-born Jack Purcell starts to play Badminton seriously in the 1920s when Badminton is just getting started.
1929 Jack Purcell is undefeated national singles champ. He starts writing an instructional column in Toronto’s weekly newspaper.
1931 Jack Purcell travels to England, winning Surrey doubles.
1933 Jack Purcell is proclaimed Badminton champion of the world after beating the best players from Canada, England and the USA.
1935 Jack Purcell helps design his signature court shoe which offers increased protection and support and features the iconic smile on the toe.
1935 Jack Purcell gives private tennis lessons while in California to some of the most influential young, aspiring Hollywood actors and actresses.
1945 Jack Purcell retires undefeated from the game and goes to work selling war bonds.
1950s Jack Purcell is inducted into the Canada sports hall of fame.
1955 James Dean is photographed wearing Jack Purcell shoes in an on-set publicity photo shoot.
1960s The Jack Purcell sneaker is marketed as the first premium sneaker selling for $8.98 when other shoes are selling for $5.98.
2010 The Jack Purcell sneaker celebrates its 75th Anniversary.