As one of the 20th century’s most respected and influential people, Billie Jean King has long been a champion for social change and equality. She created new inroads for all genders in and out of sports during her legendary career and she continues to make her mark today.
Billie Jean King
- In 2014, founded the Billie Jean King Leadership Initiative, a non-profit dedicated to addressing the critical issues required to achieve diverse, inclusive leadership in the workforce.
- In August 2009 King was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor. The award was presented to King by President Obama on Aug. 12, 2009 in ceremonies at The White House.
- Named one of the “100 Most Important Americans of the 20th Century” by Life Magazine 1990. Won 39 Grand Slam singles, doubles and mixed doubles tennis titles, including a record 20 titles at Wimbledon.
- In 2008 King authored “Pressure is a Privilege: Lessons I’ve Learned from Life and the Battle of the Sexes” to commemorate the 35th anniversary of her historic 1973 match against Bobby R.
- Was one of nine players who broke away from the tennis establishment and accepted $1 contracts from tennis promoter Gladys Heldman in Houston. The revolt led to the birth of women’s professional tennis and the formation of the Virginia Slims Tour and Women’s Tennis Association (WTA).
- Currently serves on the boards of the Women’s Sports Foundation and the Elton John AIDS Foundation.