Billie Jean King is a former world No. 1 professional tennis player. Billie Jean King was born on 22 November, 1943 in Long beach, California, United State. Billie Jean King became top-ranked women’s tennis player by 1967. King is an advocate for gender equality and has long been a pioneer for equality and social justice. In 1973, she formed the Women’s Tennis Association and famously defeated Bobby Riggs in the “Battle of the Sexes”. The first prominent female athlete to admit her homosexuality, king continued her work as an influential social activist after retiring from tennis. She was also instrumental in persuading cigarette brands. Virginia Slims sponsored women’s tennis in the 1970s and went on to serve on the board of their parent company philip Morris in the 2000s.
She dominated women’s tennis with 39 Grand Slam- 12 singles, 12 doubles and 11 mixed doubles titles. In non- Grand Slam- events she recorded 129 wins in 183 finals. She let go a golden opportunity to win all four Grand Slam events in a single year. She was attracted to tennis at an early age and shot to limelight partnering with Karen Hantze to win the doubles final at Wimbledon. Her name is associated with the iconic Battle of Sexes match that she played and won against Bobby Riggs. The much publicized event did much to prove the equality of Sexes and had a positive impact on women’s self respect. Continuing her role as a crusader for women’s cause, she protested the unequal prize money given to male and female players.
She staked her career and joined 8 other women to form the rebel Virginia Slims Tour. Their efforts bore fruit and the U.S Open offered equal prize money to men and women players. In her personal life, she did not shy away from placing her lesbianism in public. After her retirement, she became a television commentator and coach. She continues to be involved in tennis in various ways.
Billie Jean King Biography –
|Name||Billie Jean Moffitt|
|Date of birth||22 November 1943|
|Birth place||Long beach, California, U.S.|
|Age (as in 2021)||77 Years|
|Famous As||Former Women’s Tennis Champion|
|Height||5’5″ Inches (165 cm)|
|Is Billie Jean King Lesbian/gay||No|
Billie Jean King Family –
Relationship/ Affairs and More-
|Husband||Larry King (m. 1965 – div. 1987)|
|Childrens||2 (Sky, Katie)|
Educational Qualification –
|School||Long beach Polytechnic High School|
|University||California State University, Los Angles|
Billie Jean King Net worth –
Ѕhе hаѕ аn іmрессаblе саrееr rесоrd wіth а nеt wоrth оf $25 mіllіоn аѕ оf Арrіl 2021. Ѕhе hаѕ асhіеvеd thіѕ nеt wоrth bу соntrіbutіng еvеrуthіng fоr tеnnіѕ аnd mаdе tеnnіѕ а раrt оf hеr lіfе.
|Net worth||$ 25 Million|
Early Life and Childhood –
Billie Jean Moffitt was a conservative Methodist family. She was the daughter of Betty, who was a housewife, and Bill Moffitt, who was a firefighter. Her family background was athletic. Her mother has an interest in swimming and her father played basketball, baseball, and a sprinter. Her younger brother, Randy Moffitt, became a Baseball Pitcher, pitching for 12 years in the major leagues for the San Francisco Giants. She also had an interest in baseball and softball when she was a child, and her team went on to win the Long Beach Softball Championship.
She has attended Long Beach Polytechnic High School. In 1961, after graduating, she attended Los Angeles State College. She left school in 1964 to focus on tennis. The free public Courts in Long Beach helped her practice and hone her tennis skills. In 1963, while attending Cal State, she met Larry King in a library.
Billie Jean King Personal Life –
Billie Jean and Larry King were engaged during the year 1964 and married in Long Beach, California, in September 1965. Billie Jean accepted Larry by introducing her to feminism and for pushing her to pursue tennis as a career. Billie Jean later stated that she was totally in love with Larry when they get married.
In 1968, King realized that she was attracted to women, and in 1971, she fell in an intimate relationship with her secretary, Marilyn Barnett. Billie Jean revealed her relationship with Marilyn Barnett, when it came into public in May 1981. Billie Jean publicly called it a fling and a mistake by feeling she could not admit to the extent of the relationship. She remains engaged with Larry. The lawsuit caused Billie Jean to lose $ 2 Million in endorsements and forced her to prolong her tennis career to pay attorneys. In 1971, she had an abortion that was made public in a Ms. magazine article. Larry had revealed Billie Jean’s abortion without ever consulting her.
Billie Jean and Larry remained married through the palimony suit fallout. The marriage ended in 1987 after Billie Jean fell in love with her doubles partner, Ilana kloss. Larry King and Billie Jean remained close even after her outing; and Billie Jean served as godmother to Larry’s Son from his subsequent marriage. Billie Jean King has residences in New York City and Chicago with Kloss, her life partner. It was announced in March 2021, that Billie Jean will be an advisor to first Women’s Bank in Chicago.
Billie Jean King Career –
Billie Jean King is a marvelous tennis player. She has achieved various milestones in her career through the sport. She grew up in a poor family background. But she liked tennis from a very early age of her life. Her family supported her a lot. Through hard work and dedication towards her sport, she has won millions of people’s hearts and became a tennis sensation. Soon she achieved huge stardom in her career.
In 1959, King made her first Grand Slam appearance at the U.S. Championships. Her first round opponent, Justina Bricka retrieved the match after having a match point against her in the second set.
In 1960, she won the Philadelphia and District Women’s Grass Court Championships- her first senior title. She defeated Karen Hantze Susman, who had reached the U.S Championship Quarter finals the previous year.
In 1961, the Long Beach Tennis Patrons, Century Club, and Harold Guiver raised $2,000 to pay for her trip to Wimbledon. She did not disappoint and partnering with Susman, she won the doubles title.
In 1963, she claimed her first Southern California Championships title, defeating Darlene Hard in the final. At Wimbledon, she overcame Maria Bueno and Ann Haydon-Jones, but lost in the final to top-seeded Margaret Court.
Margaret Court was her nemesis during most of 1964. Court defeated her in the Wimbledon semifinals and in the Federation Cup final. King decided to become a full time tennis player that year.
In 1965, she lost in the semifinals of the Australian Open and the Wimbledon. In the U.S. Open, she suffered a demoralizing loss to Court in the finals, after being in a winning position.
In 1966, she won her first grand slam title overpowering Maria Bueno in the final at Wimbledon. Her newly acquired forehand skills had helped defeat Margaret Court in the semifinals in straight sets.
In 1967, she won her second Wimbledon and her first U.S. singles Championships. Significantly, she won the women’s doubles and mixed doubles titles at both the events. She denounced the United States Lawn Tennis Association, in 1967, for its practice of covertly paying top players to take part in various tournaments. She termed the practice “shamateurism”.
In 1968, she won her first Australia Open title while she lost in the French Open semifinal. She recovered to win her third consecutive Wimbledon singles finals, but could not retain her U.S. Open title.
In 1970, she joined 8 other players to play in the newly formed Virginia Slims Circuit, protesting the unequal prize money paid to male and female players. They boycotted the USLTA Pacific Southwest Championships.
In 1971, her only Grand Slam win was the US Open singles. It was the best year of her career- She won 7 of the 31 tournaments she played, with a 112-13 match record.
In 1972, she won three Grand Slam titles, but skipped the Australian Open as it was a minor tournament then. Thus, she missed an opportunity to win all four events in a calendar year.
Between 1973 and 1980, she won five Grand Slam singles titles- two Wimbledon and three U.S. Opens. During the period, she also won four mixed doubles and four Grand Slam doubles titles.
In 1983, she announced her retirement from competitive singles after a second round loss to Catherine Tanvier in the Australian Open. She continued to play doubles occasionally for seven more years.
She became the captain of the U.S. Federation Cup team and the coach of its women’s Olympic tennis squad. In 1996, the U.S. lifted the Fed Cup and added 3 Olympic gold medals.
Billie Jean King Movies
- The Battle Of The Sexes 2013
- Venus and Serena in 2012
- Billie Jean King: Portrait of a Pioneer
- Serena 2016
- Just Call Me Martina in 2016
- Arthur Ashe: Citizen of the World in 1994
- Unraveling Athena in 2018
- Out to Win 2015
- To Russia with Love 2014
- Legends of Wimbledon: Pete Sampras in 2006
- American Masters Althea 2014
- The Minerva Awards 2008: Billie Jean King Film
- billie jean king sue barker: our wimbledon
- billie jean king wimbledon official film 1975
- billie jean king mima
- billie jean king wimbledon official film 2006
- She Got Game Film
- Moments That Shook Sport Film
- 125 Years of Wimbledon: You Cannot Be Serious Film
- Where the Girls Are 2003
- Wimbledon: A History of the Championships Film
- Legends of Wimbledon: Billie Jean King 2005
- billie jean king unstoppable
- Kate Clinton: 25th Anniversary Tour 2007
- billie jean king wimbledon official film 1969
Billie Jean King Awards & Nominations
- Credited 39 Grand Slam titles in a complete span of her active career
- Ranked as the world’s #1 woman tennis player in 1966
- Entitled as the Associated Press Female Athlete of the Year in 1967
- Became the first tennis player and the first female athlete to be honoured as the Sportsman of the Year by Sports Illustrated magazine in 1972
- Her name was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1987
- Named amongst the “100 Most Important Americans of the 20th Century” by the Life magazine in 1990
- Received the Arthur Ashe Courage Award in 1999
- Honoured with the Lifetime Achievement Award as the Sports Women of the Year by Sunday Times in 2007
- Received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2009 by the then President Barack Obama for her indomitable efforts for women and the LGBT community
- Bestowed with the Fed Cup Award of Excellence in 2010
- Inducted into the Southern California Tennis Hall of Fame in 2011
- According to this tennis champion, “Tennis is a perfect combination of violent action taking place in an atmosphere of total tranquility”.
- Elton John’s song, ‘Philadelphia Freedom’ was a tribute to this tennis star who coached a team called the Philadelphia Freedoms. She was the first women ever to coach men.
Billie Jean King Inspirational & Motivational Quotes
- Tennis is a perfect combination of violent action taking place in an atmosphere of total tranquillity. – Billie Jean King
- There is no life for girls in team sports past Little League. I got into tennis when I realized this, and because I thought golf would be too slow for me, and I was too scared to swim. – Billie Jean King
- I like entrepreneurial people; I like people who take risks. – Billie Jean King
- A champion is afraid of losing. Everyone else is afraid of winning. – Billie Jean King
- In 1973, women got 59 cents on the dollar; now we are getting 74 cents on the dollar. In the area of finance and business, we are at 68 cents on the dollar. – Billie Jean King
- I wanted to use sports for social change. – Billie Jean King
- Sports are a microcosm of society. – Billie Jean King
- Women get the attention when we get into the men’s arena, and that’s sad. – Billie Jean King
- Champions keep playing until they get it right. – Billie Jean King
- Women’s sports is still in its infancy. The beginning of women’s sports in the United States started in 1972, with the passage of Title 9 for girls to finally get athletic scholarships. – Billie Jean King
- In the seventies we had to make it acceptable for people to accept girls and women as athletes. We had to make it okay for them to be active. Those were much scarier times for females in sports. – Billie Jean King
- When we reach the point where the women athletes are getting their pick of dates just as easily as the men athletes, then we’ve really and truly arrived. Parity at last! – Billie Jean King
- When they take surveys of women in business, of the Fortune 500, the successful women, 80% of them, say they were in sports as a young woman. – Billie Jean King
- Sports teaches you character, it teaches you to play by the rules, it teaches you to know what it feels like to win and lose-it teaches you about life. – Billie Jean King