Althea Gibson


Althea Gibson Image Source

Today’s Phenomenal Woman:

Althea Gibson (August 25, 1927–2003)

Golfer, Tennis Player, Athlete

  • During her childhood, her family struggled to make ends meet and she Gibson struggled in the classroom, often choosing to not go to school
  • She loved sports and was a local table tennis champion during her youth
  • First black female tennis player to compete at the U.S. National Championships in 1950
  • First black female player to compete at Wimbledon in 1951
  • After graduating college in 1958, she struggled to make ends meet and considered quitting sports altogether and enrolling in the Army. Much of her frustration came from the segregation and discrimination in tennis which would not allow her to compete in the world’s best tournament
  • Eventually, she got her chance to compete in the big tournaments and went on to win the women’s singles and doubles at Wimbledon in 1957, and the U.S. Open in 1958.

“I have never regarded myself as a crusader. I don’t consciously beat the drums for any cause, not even the negro in the United States.”- Althea Gibson


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