Before Serena Williams: 8 Amazing Facts About the Tennis Icon Althea Gibson

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** FILE ** Althea Gibson, shown in her East Orange, NJ. home in this 1968 file photo, died at the age of 76 on Sunday, Sept. 28, 2003. Gibson was a self-described ``born athlete'' who broke racial barriers, not only in tennis but also in the Ladies Professional Golf Association. She even toured with the Harlem Globetrotters after retiring from tennis in the late 1950s. (AP Photo/Marty Lederhandler, file) ORG XMIT: NY151

Her Career Was Groundbreaking

In 1971, Gibson was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame for her groundbreaking accolades. In 1975, she still was involved with sports, acting as the commissioner of athletics for New Jersey state and serving as a member of the governor’s council on physical fitness.

 

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Her Legacy Is Iconic

Gibson paved the way for Black women in the world of tennis by being steadfast and extremely talented. She won 11 Grand Slam tournaments, including six doubles titles, and was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame. She became one of the first six women to be part of International Women’s Sports Hall of Fame. In 2013, Gibson was commemorated with her own U.S Postal Stamp. She also has numerous tennis courts named after her around the country.

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