Billie Jean King Fast Facts

Here is a look at the life of tennis champion and activist Billie Jean King.Personal:...

Posted: Dec 5, 2018 4:38 PM
Updated: Dec 5, 2018 4:38 PM

Here is a look at the life of tennis champion and activist Billie Jean King.

Personal:
Birth date: November 22, 1943

Billie Jean King

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Birth place: Long Beach, California

Birth name: Billie Jean Moffitt

Father: Willard J. Moffitt, engineer for a fire department

Mother: Betty Moffitt, an Avon sales representative

Marriage: Larry King, attorney - (September 17, 1965-1987, divorced)

Education: Attended Los Angeles State College (now California State University, Los Angeles), 1961-1964

Other Facts:
She has won 39 Grand Slam championships overall in singles, doubles, and mixed doubles, including 12 Grand Slam singles titles.

She is the founder and first president of the Women's Tennis Association (WTA).

As head of the World Team Tennis (WTT) League, she became the first woman commissioner in professional sports.

She threatened to boycott the 1973 US Open if equal prize money was not awarded. The fight she started for equal prize money in the Grand Slams took 34 years to reach fruition when Wimbledon became the last of the four to fall into line in 2007.

She remained friends with "Battle of the Sexes" opponent Bobby Riggs off the court until his death in 1995 of prostate cancer.

Timeline:
1959 - Makes her tennis debut.

1961 - Wins her first Wimbledon title, in doubles with Karen Hautze.

1966 - Wins her first Wimbledon singles title.

1966-1968, 1972, 1973, 1975 - Wimbledon singles champion.

1967, 1971-1972, 1974 - US Open singles champion.

1968 - Australian Open singles champion.

1972 - French Open singles champion.

1971 - Becomes the first female athlete to win $100,000 in a single year.

1972 - Wins the US Open and threatens to bow out the next year if the women's prize money didn't match the men's.

1973 - The US Open becomes the first major tournament to award equal prize money to men and women.

September 20, 1973 - At 29, plays in the "Battle of the Sexes" match in the Houston Astrodome against 55 year-old Riggs. King wins the match in straight sets and the $100,000 winner-takes-all prize.

June 30, 1973 - Founds the Women's Tennis Association (WTA).

1973-1975, 1980-1981 - President, Women's Tennis Association (WTA).

1974 - Is a founding partner, along with her husband Larry, of World Team Tennis, a co-ed league. The format of the competition sees men and women playing a five-set competition in a mix of singles, doubles and mixed doubles.

1974 - Helps create the Women's Sports Foundation.

1975 - Plays her final Grand Slam singles match at Wimbledon.

May 2, 1981 - Acknowledges that she is a lesbian after Marilyn Barnett files a palimony lawsuit against her.

1984 - Retires from professional tennis.

2006 - The United States Tennis Association (USTA) National Tennis Center in New York, New York, is rededicated as the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center.

August 12, 2009 - Receives the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

December 2013 - Is named to the American delegation at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Russia by President Barack Obama.

February 15, 2014 - King is named as part of the presidential delegation to the closing ceremony of the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. She had initially been a member of the opening ceremony delegation, but had to pull out because her mother was ill.

September 22, 2017 - The film "Battle of the Sexes," about King's 1973 tennis match victory over Riggs, opens.

January 12, 2018 - Calls for the Australian Open's Margaret Court Arena to be renamed because of the Melbourne Park champion's views on homosexuality. At a media conference King states, "I was fine until she said lately so many derogatory things about my community. I'm a gay woman ... that really went deep in my heart and soul."

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