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Genre: Sports Celebrities
Price: Call For Fee
Availability: Generally Availability
Demographics: 18-25,25-35,35-50,50 +
The former world champion tennis player, Billie Jean King, was born in 1942 in Long Beach, California, where she spent her formative years learning to play tennis on the free public courts in the area. Although her career was impressive and noteworthy from its earliest beginnings, King rose to international fame when in 1973, she challenged Bobby Riggs, then fifty-five to a “battle of the sexes” tennis match.
In winning the match, Billie Jean transformed the role of women in sports, and set the stage for the Women’s Tennis Association and the Women’s Sports Foundation. Throughout her career, Billie Jean King won nearly forty Grand Slam titles, including twelve singles. Throughout her rising career in the seventies and eighties, Billie Jean King grew to become one of the nation’s and one of the era’s most treasured athletes, breaking gender barriers and serving as a spokesperson for a variety of gender issues, a role she continues to this day.
Billie Jean King’s career accolades are too numerous to mention in their entirety. Notable highlights include: an induction into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1987; becoming the first female athlete to receive the Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year Award in 1975; recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom; and recipient of the Arthur Ashe Courage Award in 1999.
In her personal life, Billie Jean King has become a spokesperson for the LGBT community after coming out later in her life. The role appears to be one that King embraces with enthusiasm, and she has been recognized by many LGBT organizations for her work to continue to fight for equality and fairness for all individuals regardless of gender, sexual orientation, or sexual identity.
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