Monday, December 05, 2016
LOS ANGELES TIMES -- While a student at San Francisco State and a member of the college’s track team, Mathis was asked to try out for the U.S. Olympic Team. He chose to embark on a professional signing career. Since that first album release in 1956, Mathis has recorded more than 80 albums — six of them Christmas-themed — received five Grammy nominations and is Columbia Records’ longest-signed recording artist. When not on a national singing tour or participating in charitable pursuits, Mathis said, he still carves out time for his athletic interests. He was an avid tennis player until the late 1960s. After friends suggested golf, Mathis turned to that game, playing a round almost every day when he's not traveling.