By 1927, Who’s Who in America grows to include more than 26,000 listings. The standards of admission remain stringent but are broadened to include ambassadors to the United States, foreign actors of renown in America, and additional businessmen, among others. Still, generally speaking, one group is conspicuously absent: athletes.
The legendary names of the 1920s, baseball star Babe Ruth and heavyweight champion Jack Dempsey are not included, as is the case with numerous other well-known athletes. The philosophy at the company is “do not list persons whose prominence is primarily the result of physical prowess.” There are occasional exceptions to this rule. Boxer Gene Tunney, who had dethroned Dempsey to win the heavyweight title, is included in Who’s Who in America, but his inclusion is a result of his business achievements, not his boxing career. Tennis star Bill Tilden is included because tennis is thought of as a “gentleman’s game” by the Marquis editors.