Billie Jean King

Billie Jean Moffit was born on November 22, 1943, in Long Beach, California. In her early years she was an exceptional softball player, but Billie Jean knew that there was no significant future for a woman in softball. Her parents introduced her to tennis, the game that would change her life and the lives of other women.

In 1967, Billie Jean King was selected as Outstanding Female Athlete of the World. In 1972, she was named Sports Illustrated Sportsperson of the Year, the first woman to be so honored; and in 1973, she was dubbed Female Athlete of the Year.

Billie Jean King is the first female athlete to win over $100,000 prize money in a single season. She has spoken out for women and their right to earn comparable money in tennis and other sports. Her constant lobbying and commitments have broken many barriers.

Billie Jean King established the first successful women’s professional tennis tour. She founded tennis clinics for undeprivileged children. For her contributions to tennis as President of Tennis-America, King was awarded the National Service Bowl.