Billie Jean King Facts

Billie Jean King Facts
Billie Jean King is an American former professional tennis player who dominated the sport for much of the 1970s. Although she is known primarily as a tennis legend, King's efforts on and off the court on behalf of women's issues closely connected her to the feminist movement during the 1970s. King was born Billie Jean Moffit on November 22, 1943 to a working class family in Long Beach, California. Billie Jean came from an athletically gifted family that promoted hard work and physical fitness. Billie Jean met her future husband, Larry King, while studying at California State University, Los Angeles. Although Billie Jean embarked in a relationship with a woman in 1971 and came out as bisexual to her husband, the couple remained married until 1987.
Interesting Billie Jean King Facts:
Billie Jean's younger brother, Randy Moffit, played baseball in the Major Leagues for several different teams over a twelve year span in the 1970s and early 1980s.
Billie Jean began playing tennis at the age of eleven.
She began competing professionally in 1959 as a teenager.
Billie Jean won her first tournament in 1960 at the Philadelphia and District Grass Court Championships.
She was the first woman to defeat a top seed in the first match at Wimbledon in 1962.
King won her first "Grand Slam" title in 1966 at Wimbledon
King was named the Associated Press' "Female Athlete of the Year" for 1967.
She won all four Grand Slam titles in 1970
In 1972, Billie Jean became the first woman and first tennis player to be named the Sports Illustrated sportsman of the year.
On September 20, 1973, at the age of twenty-nine, King defeated fifty-five-year-old professional tennis legend Bobby Riggs in three straight sets in the "Battle of the Sexes II" at the Houston Astrodome.
King became the first female athlete to win over $100,000 in prize money in 1971.
In a 1971 issue of Ms., it was revealed that King hand an abortion.
She was instrumental in establishing a women's only professional tennis tour in the 1970s.
King continuously campaigned for gender equality in tennis, especially regarding pay and prize purses.
She became the first president of the Women's Tennis Association in 1973.
By the time she retired from playing tennis full-time professionally in 1983, King claimed thirty-nine Grand Slam titles, twelve in singles, sixteen in women's doubles, and eleven in mixed doubles.
Since the 1970s, King has been an outspoken advocate of gay and lesbian rights issues and has received numerous awards as a result.
Although a professional athlete and advocate of healthy living, King supported cigarette bran Virginia Slims' sponsorship of women's tennis and later served on the corporate board of its parent company, Philip Morris.
Billie Jean has appeared as herself in several cameos in film and television since the 1970s.
King published the book Pressure is a Privilege: Lessons I've Learned from Life and the Battle of the Sexes in 2008.
In the 2010s, King participated in the Women's Sport Foundation and the Elton John AIDs Foundation by speaking at various events.

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