Billie Jean King
Billie Jean King is a 20 time Wimbledon Champion and former world No. 1 player. She is arguably most remembered for her “infamous” victory over Bobby Riggs in the “Battle of the Sexes” at the Houston Astrodome in 1973. Billie Jean holds 39 Grand Slam titles, in all four Grand Slam events (Australian, French, Wimbledon & U.S. Open). She is 1 of 3 women to hold the Triple Crown at Wimbledon (singles, doubles & mixed) in 1967 and 1973. She was ranked No. 1 in the world from 1966 to1974 and was in the top 10 for a total of 17 years. She was the leader behind the women’s movement against the fight for equality and recognition, and helped establish the Virginia Slims Women’s Tour. She also helped establish the Women’s Tennis Association in 1973 and in 1974 was the founder of the Women’s Sports Foundation. In the early 1970’s Billie Jean co-founded World TeamTennis, of which she is still a major owner.
As one of the 20th century's most respected and influential people, Billie Jean King has long been a champion for social justice and equality. She created new inroads for both genders in and out of sports during her legendary career and she continues to make her mark today. In 2006, the USTA honored Billie Jean by naming the U.S.Open Tennis Center after her. On August 12, 2009, King was the first female athlete to be awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, by President Obama at the White House.