Joe Whalen was born in 1916 in Millinocket, MA. His father owned three pharmacies and then moved the family to Coral Gables, FL.
Coral Gables is where Joe Whalen started playing tennis and eventually became the Florida Boys champion at the young at of 13 and the National Professional Champion at the young age of 19. Joe then toured the country playing exhibitions and tournaments with the likes of Fred Perry, Don Budge and Bill Tilden until the onset of WWII. Joe enlisted in WWII and was discharged after serving his tour of duty with a purple heart.
Upon returning home Joe played many tournaments and exhibitions until ultimately he was named head pro at some of the finest tennis facilities in the country: Westchester Country Club, New Canan Country Club, The Ponte Verdra Club and Bolles School in Jacksonville, FL. During his teaching pro period Joe also organized tennis exhibitions with players such as Bobby Riggs, Pancho Gonzalez and Poncho Segura as well as starting and writing a national tennis magazine.
Ultimately it was during the organization of his tennis exhibitions that he was put into a situation of needing a tennis court surfaced prior to the beginning of an exhibition. Being unable to find someone that could do the work well and to his standards he decided to repair and resurface the court himself. That event led to the eventual tennis court construction business that he started and ran from 1957 to 1978. The original name was The Whalen Surfacing Company which soon became The Whalen Tennis Co in Jacksonville, FL.
Upon selling the company to his son Gary Whalen in 1978, Joe retired and traveled until his ultimate passing in 1993. Joe Whalen believed in one very simple and basic principal his entire life. Whatever you do, you do it to your best and you do it to be the best.