It is with great sadness that we share the passing of Table Tennis Nation President Marty Reisman who passed away this morning at the age of 82.
Marty was a 23 time National and International table tennis champion whose fashion sense, swagger, and playing style made him a star on and off the table. His career spanned decades with Reisman winning a National Championship as recently as 1997, about 40 years after his first National Championship–a record likely never to be broken.
Marty was a self taught player who honed his skills in parlors and underground; he earned a reputation as a hustler and a master of the “table game,” and was often called “The Needle.”
Marty wrote his stories of traveling the world to play table tennis, in the cult classic “The Money Player”: everything from hustling gangsters in the Midwestern US and touring with the Harlem globetrotters, to being stranded in India after an International competition and being one of the first to visit, and play in, pre-war Vietnam.
Marty was a believer in long rallies in table tennis at the professional and amateur levels as the game was more fun to watch and play, and was a proponent of sandpaper and hard bat rackets for this reason.
Marty’s appeal captivated journalists, filmmakers, and photographers who have covered every aspect of his career from sports and cultural perspectives. A full length documentary about Marty wrapped only 2 months ago.
Marty’s hustling extended to the business world where he made use of his quick wits and understanding of people and trends to start a number of businesses, most recently Table Tennis Nation, but always wore his signature hat.
Marty was a great husband to his wife, Yoshiko, who he cared for and personally nursed back to health.
Marty was a fashion icon, a trendsetter, and an international star. He was a good friend, business partner, person, and a once in a lifetime athlete. He will be missed.
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