South Carolina native, Althea Gibson was born on August 25th, 1927. Gibson was the first black tennis player to win the French in 1956, Wimbledon, and U.S Open!
She started playing tennis at an early age growing up in New York City. In 1942, she won her first tournament, which was sponsored by the American Tennis Association (ATA). This organization was founded by African American Players.
In the year 1947, Gibson captured the women’s singles championship and held that title for ten consecutive years! In 1951, Gibson entered the Wimbledon tournament as the first black player ever invited.In 1957, Althea Gibson was voted Female Athlete of the Year by the Associated Press, she became the very first African American to receive this special honor.
Tennis wasn’t the only thing Althea was talented in, she also took up golf and became the first African American member of the Ladies Professional Golf association in 1964.
In the year 1971, Althea Gibson was elected to the International Tennis Hall of Fame.