a picture of Billie Jean

a picture of Billie Jean

Billie Jean King is the founder of the Billie Jean King Leadership Initiative and the co-founder of World Team Tennis. As one of the 20th century’s most respected and influential people, she has long been a champion for social equality and justice. She produced fresh inroads for both genders in and out of sports during her legendary career, and she continues to make her mark today.

Born on November 22, 1943, in Long Beach, California, Billie Jean King developed the top-ranked females’ tennis player by 1967. In 1973, she formed the Women’s Tennis Association. She famously beat Bobby Riggs in the “Battle of the Sexes.” The first prominent female athlete to admit her homosexuality, Billie Jean, worked as a crucial social activist after retiring from tennis.

Early Years

Billie Jean Moffitt was born in 1943 to parents Bill and Betty. The Moffitts were an athletic family. Bill had an interview for an NBA team before becoming a firefighter. Betty, a homemaker, was an excellent swimmer. Their next child, Randy, became a Major League Baseball pitcher.

Billie Jean’s early sport was softball; at age 10, she played the first game on a team of 15 and 14-year-old girls that won the city championship. However, her parents recommended she try a more “ladylike” game. At 11, she began to play tennis on the Long Beach public courts.

In 1958 Billie Jean appeared when she won the Southern California championship for her age bracket, and in 1959 she began to receive training from former women’s tennis abundant Alice Marble. After a sequence of losses to top-seeded players in various struggles around the country, in 1961, Billie Jean made sports headings when she and Karen Hantze Susman became the earliest pair to win the Wimbledon women’s doubles titles.

While attending California State University, from 1961 to 1964, Billie Jean continued to compete in tournaments and operated as a tennis teacher to make conclusions meet. She also married law student Larry King during this time.

However, after achieving mixed results in many competitions, Billie Jean soon understood that she would need to step up her training schedule if she required reaching her full potential. She bordered on an exhaustive training routine and worked on improving her fundamentals.

Billie Jean’s Awards

Billie Jean King’s efforts were finally rewarded in 1966 when she attained her first major singles contest at Wimbledon. She successfully defended that title the next two years, won her first U.S. Open singles championship in 1967, and her only Australian Open triumphs the following year. In 1968, having appealed the world’s No. 1 ranking in women’s tennis, King became an expert.

On the occasion, King arrived at the court in a gold litter carried by four muscular men, while Riggs moved in on a rickshaw dragged by a team of womenfolk called “Bobby’s Bosom Buddies.”