Graham Barclay Steenhoven
USA Table Tennis Hall of Fame
Involved as part of the talks with China in 1971 called "Ping Pong diplomacy"
Graham Steenhoven was born in England and moved with his family to the United States at the age of 14. It was while he was working at Chrysler as a personnel manager that he was told to purchase table tennis equipment to keep his people occupied He learned the game and became an excellent player going on to become the President of the United States Table Tennis Association (USTTA). It was during his third year of the four-year term, in 1971 that Steenhoven suddenly found himself in the international spotlight. As president of the USTTA, Steenhoven led a 15-member contingent to the World Championships in Nagoya, Japan. Near the end of the championships, a representative from China invited the American contingent to China. The group made the trip to China and aided the thawing of relations between the world powers. Graham Steenhoven was inducted into the USA Table Tennis Hall of Fame in 1988 and was inducted into the Michigan Sports Hall of Fame in 1979. He passed away on October 15, 2006 at 94 years of age.