Billie Jean King ruled ladies’ tennis for almost twenty years, resigning from professional play in 1984. She brought home her most memorable Wimbledon championship in 1962, beating top-cultivated Margaret Smith. King came out on top for 20 Wimbledon championships, 6 of them singles.
In 1973 she played men’s player Bobby Riggs, who had freely announced no lady could beat him. The trick was named “The Battle of the Sexes,” and when King destroyed Riggs, she became a women’s activist symbol. Since resigning, she’s filled in as a mentor, correspondent, and money manager.
Billie Jean King was born Billie Jean Moffitt on November 22, 1943, in Long Beach, California. She experienced childhood in a moderate Methodist family with mother Betty, father Bill, and more youthful brother Randy.
Billie Jean played basketball and softball during her childhood, and at age 10, she played shortstop in a group that brought home the Long Beach softball title. She started playing tennis at age 11. Billie Jean went to Long Beach Polytechnic High School and enlisted at Los Angeles State College. She left school in 1964 to zero in on her tennis vocation.
King went a star in 1959 and contended in tennis tournaments while going to school. In 1961, Billie Jean and Karen Hantze Susman turned into the most youthful pair to come out on top for the ladies’ copies championship at Wimbledon.
King came out on top for 39 Grand Slam championships, 12 in singles, 16 in ladies’ duplicates, and 11 in blended pairs. King came out on top for the singles championship at the debut WTA Tour Championships. King often addressed the United States in the Federation Cup and the Wightman Cup.
King is a backer of orientation equity and has been a trailblazer for fairness and civil rights. In 1973, at age 29, she won the “Battle of the Sexes” tennis match against 55-year-old Bobby Riggs. King was likewise the pioneer behind the Women’s Tennis Association and the Women’s Sports Foundation.
In 1967, King was named the Associated Press Female Athlete of the Year, and in 1972, she turned into the principal tennis player and first female competitor to be named “Sports Illustrated” Sportsman of the Year.
In 2000, the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) regarded Billie Jean as an honor for “furthering the perceivability and consideration of the local area in her work.”
Respected by quite a few people in the game as one of the best tennis players, King enlisted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1987. The Fed Cup Award of Excellence was presented to King in 2010. Indeed, even after years of retirement, she kept up with her net worth of $20 million.
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