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Althea Gibson Biography

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Althea Gibson was born in Silver, South Carolina on August 15, 1927. Althea grew up in Harlem, New York in a poor family. Althea was a member of ΆΚΆ (Alpha Kappa Alpha). She was fortunate enough to meet Dr. Walter Johnson her patron in the black tennis community. Through the guidance of Walter Althea grew into the scene of tennis. She became a trailblazing athlete winning tournaments in Wimbledon, The French Open, The Austrian Doubles and The United States Open in the late 1950's. Althea had a grand career even with segregated offers in that time. Althea Gibson became a pioneer in the world of athletes even though she wasn't expecting to be one.

Althea had already won 56 single and double titles in her amateur career, before reaching international fame and national acclaim for her athletic prowess in the professional world of tennis. In tennis she had achieved many accomplishments like the Wimbledon Singles Championship (1957-1958), Wimbledon Double Championship (1956-1958), Wimbledon Mixed-Doubles Finalist (1956-1958) USLTA Singles Championship (1957-1958), USLTA Mixed-Doubles Championship (1957), USLTA Doubles Finalist (1957-1958), Australian Doubles Championship (1957), Australian Singles Finalist (1957), French Singles Championship (1956), and French Doubles Championship (1956). Althea was the first African-American woman on the world tennis tour and the first to win a Grand Slam title in 1956. Altheas has also been referred to as the Jackie Robinson of tennis for the breaking the color barrier in the sport. Althea was also inducted into

Tennis Hall of Fame in 1971 and was also appointed as the New Jersey State Commissioner of Athletics.

After her she left tennis she started a golf career and became the first African American to the Ladies Professional Golf Association but could not distinguish herself. On the opening night of the 2007 US Open, the 50th anniversary of Gibson's victory at the U.S. Championships in the, Gibson was inducted into US Open Court of Champions. She was also a 2009 inductee of the New Jersey Hall of Fame.

Althea was married twice with both marriages ending in divorce. Althea was revealed to have financial failure and fans from all over the world mailed her checks adding over $1 million

On September 28, 2003 Althea died of respiratory failure and was buried at the Rosedale Cemetery in East Orange, New Jersey. I admire Althea Gibson because she wasn't afraid to break the odds and do what she believed and succeed at it which I find as a mark of good character.

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