Today WSF Founder and civil rights pioneer Billie Jean King turns 70. Born in 1943 in Long Beach, Calif., to parents Willard and Betty Moffitt, no one could have known what impact the energetic and gifted girl would have on the world. From first picking up a racket at 11 to playing in her first Wimbledon at 17 to closing her career with 23 Grand Slam titles, Billie Jean harnessed her talent and leadership on the tennis court to ignite a huge cultural shift between genders—one that still reverberates around the world for both women and men today.
Milestone occasions like Billie Jean’s 70th birthday call for reflection on and celebration of a person’s life. Today, we thank Billie Jean for her vision of an equal playing field for girls and boys, women and men, wealthy and underprivileged, able-bodied and with disability, gay and straight. We thank Billie Jean for her unshakeable commitment to our work at the Women’s Sports Foundation and for continuing to be our loudest and proudest advocate. We thank her for the sacrifices she has made to ensure the success of our mission through personal fundraising and philanthropy. And most of all, we thank her for being a daily inspiration to work hard, always smile and be proud to make a difference.
On the occasion of her 70th, get social and send birthday wishes to Billie Jean! Tweet us (@WomensSportsFdn) and Billie Jean (@BillieJeanKing) using the hashtag #HappyBirthdayBJK or comment on our Facebook post with your well-wishes.