Charles Teller

Inducted into Jewish Sports Hall of Fame, 1987

Born in Middletown, Teller grew up in West Hartford and graduated from Hall High School, where he excelled in both scholastics and sports. He was ranked the top high school tennis player in the state in 1959. Teller was captain of the Hall High tennis team and played on the soccer team; in his spare time, he was sports editor of the West Hartford News and active at the Jewish Community Center. He went to Brandeis, where he was captain of the tennis team for two years and captain of the soccer team. He was the first Brandeis student to be awarded eight varsity letters. Throughout his life, he won tennis tournaments in the U.S., Bolivia, Honduras, Guatemala, Ecuador, and Costa Rica.

After graduating in 1963, he went to Israel for a summer to work with youth and taught tennis. The Israeli Tennis Association asked him to stay for a year to launch an intensive youth program, but he decided he needed to continue his studies. He earned a master’s degree at Clark University and then went into the Peace Corps in Bolivia. While there, he managed tennis, basketball, soccer and softball teams throughout Bolivia and Argentina and coached the Bolivian national team.

He received his PhD in Sociology-Demography from Cornell University in 1972. He taught at the University of Texas and then worked with the World Health Organization in Guatemala City. In addition to his professional duties, he served as cantor at the small synagogue. After seven years in Guatemala, he returned to the U.S. and worked with the U.S. Health and Human Services Department, serving as Director of the International Nutrition Division. He published five books and numerous articles on malnutrition and development and lectured on the subject all over the world.