As an athlete, Glidden was a lefty. Quoted as “the best amateur squash racquets player ever” by his coach, friend and trustee Jack Barnaby, he is the only player in the history of the game to win 12 titles including the National Singles three straight, retiring undefeated. He was Captain of the Harvard Tennis Team 1936 and participated in the victorious Harvard-Yale team over Oxford-Cambridge in England 1935. He was elected to the Harvard Hall of Fame in 1970.
Glidden, or “G3” as he was called by friends, was a painter, muralist and cartoonist. After graduating from Phillips Exeter Academy, he became a Fine Arts major at Harvard University where he was head Ibis of the “Lampoon” magazine, a humorous task that later inspired his famed Grogg cartoons.
After graduation, he spent four years at the Art Students League of New York and the Metropolitan Museum. He studied life drawing with Arthur Lee, under-painting techniques with Alexander Abels and sculpture with Mahonri Young. Many of his early studies where taken from the old masters as shown in the Metropolitan Museum of New York, such as Titian, Rembrandt, and Vermeer.
During World War II, Glidden served with the US Navy as Recognition Officer of Carrier Aircraft Service Unit #32 based in Maui, Hawaii. There he established a training school which earned him commendations from both Navy and Army units. The school taught instant identification of airplanes and surface ships to pilots and air crewmen. He also taught an evening life drawing class at the Kahalui naval base. During this time, he defeated Bobby Riggs, world professional tennis champion, who was touring the Pacific air bases.
He became a renowned portrait painter and founded The National Art Museum of Sport in 1959. He was married for fifty years and had three daughters Pamela, Christine and Dianna. Posthumously, in 2000 Mr. Glidden was inducted into the initial class of the Squash Hall of Fame.
Of his over 1000 paintings & portraits included are: Roger Sherman, Thomas W. Lamont, Countess Tauni deLesseps, Donald Quarrels, Mansfield Sprague, Minnie Dole, Bobby Grant and many more. The portraits of President Reagan on Horseback, Ivan Lendl, Dorothy Hamill were commissioned for The National Art Museum of Sport. His works reside in (but not limited to) the following organizations: The Churchill Library, Fogg Art Museum, The Kennedy Library, The National Tennis Hall of Fame, The Harvard Club of NYC, The Pentagon, Phillips Exeter Academy, The National Baseball & Basketball Halls of Fame, The Racquet & Tennis Club of NYC, Perkin Elmer Corp, and The Lotus Club. His murals include “The Maple Syrup Scene” (4’ x 13’) for Denworth Farm of Worthington, MA, now at Exeter Academy and “The Five Mission Buildings of San Antonio, TX, for former Exeter classmate William Negley. The National Art Museum of Sportboasts his last work of President H. W. Bush depicting him playing five sports.