Billie Jean King (born November 22, 1943) is an American former World No. 1 professional tennis player.
King won a total of 39 Grand Slam titles throughout her career; this includes 12 singles, 16 doubles and 11 mixed doubles titles. Additionally King won the first ever WTA Tour Championships and was a three time winner of the doubles event. King is an advocate for sexual equality and won The Battle of the Sexes tennis match against Bobby Riggs in 1973. She was the founder of the Women’s Tennis Association, World Team Tennis, and the Women’s Sports Foundation.
King has been bestowed with several honors. She was inducted into the Tennis Hall of Fame in 1987 and was awarded the Phillipe Chartrier Award in 2003. The Fed Cup Award of Excellence was bestowed on King in 2010. In 1972 King was the joint winner with John Wooden of the Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year award and was one of the Time Persons of the year in 1975. King has also received the Presidential Medal of Freedom and was given the Sunday Times Sportswoman of the year lifetime achievement award.
King was inducted into the National Women’s hall of fame in 1990. In 2006 the USTA National Tennis Center was renamed the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center after her. Life magazine in 1990 named her one of the “100 Most Important Americans of the 20th Century.”