Born on November 22, 1943, he is regarded as one of the best in the world. Before her retirement in 1990, she won 39 Grand Slam titles: 12 in singles, 16 in women’s, and 11 in mixed doubles.
She also memorably took part in the tennis match between Bobby Riggs and the Battle of the Sexes in 1973, which is now recognized as one of the most watched sporting events ever shown on television.
This match was one of the most well-known contests in women’s sports history because of Riggs’ infamy as a self-described male chauvinist who went by the name “Bobby ‘No-Broad-Can-Beat-Me’ Riggs.”
What Is Billie Jean King’s Net Worth?
King has had one of the most prosperous careers in tennis over the years. She has been able to earn an estimated net worth of $20 million because of her job and other business endeavors, according to Celebrity Net Worth.
She founded the Women’s Tennis Association, World Team Tennis, and the Women’s Sports Foundation, in addition to being regarded as one of the top tennis players in the world. The Los Angeles Dodgers also have King and Kloss as minority owners. In 2017, a movie based on her historic bout with Riggs was released, starring Emma Stone as King and Steve Carell as Riggs.
Is Billie Jean King married?
King has had two marriages during her life. Larry King, 77, an American lawyer, real estate broker, promoter, and one of the pioneers of World Team Tennis, was King’s first husband. The former couple met at California State University and were wed from 1965 to 1987. King remarried her former doubles partner Ilana Kloss, 65, more than three decades after her divorce from Larry. Even though they did not tie the marriage until 2018, the pair had been secretly together for four decades. King first addressed the marriage in her 2021 autobiography, All In, and said that just three individuals had known beforehand.No that one shattered wedding cakes or hurled rice in the other person’s face, King wrote.
One of the brides wore a black shirt, cozy warm-up suit, and pearls — ha! — a personal touch of elegance that Ilana still makes fun of me for. The other wore a black shirt, comfortable warm-up suit, and jeans. She then discussed why it took her 42 years in an interview with PEOPLE. King told PEOPLE in August 2021, “I felt married to Ilana, whether I had a piece of paper or not. But I had a lot of trouble trusting, so putting my trust in Ilana meant a lot to me.
Years from now, I never want anyone to question how much I was committed to you, she said in her memoir. King also disclosed that she didn’t come out as gay until she was 51. Personality is “a progression. You’re discovering your truth, and it need not be constant, “King told the news organization. “When I was younger, I was just into boys. I had no thoughts about women. And then suddenly, I’m thinking, “Oh my God, what’s happening?” My perception of reality was evolving. I took an eternity.”
How Did Bille Jean King Starting Career?
King played tennis competitions while in college before turning pro in 1959. The women’s doubles Wimbledon championship was won by Billie Jean and Karen Hantze Susman in 1961, who were the tournament’s youngest team. King won the Wimbledon singles match for the first time in 1966, and she repeated the feat in 1967 and 1968. She also took home the singles titles at 1968 Australian Open and the 1967 U.S. Open.
According to King’s website, she won “a record 20 Wimbledon titles, 13 United States titles (including four singles), four French titles (one single), and two Australian titles (one single) for a total of 39 Grand Slam titles” from 1961 to 1979. She was ranked the top female tennis player in the world in 1966, 1967, 1968, 1971, 1972, and 1974.
She won Wimbledon, the U.S. Open, and the French Open in 1972. The following year, in front of 90 million viewers from more than 35 nations, she defeated Bobby Riggs in the “Battle of the Sexes.” That same year, Larry, Billie Jean’s ex-husband, and King recruited the female tennis players for World TeamTennis (WTT), a mixed-gender tennis league. The Philadelphia Freedoms, the WTT team Billie Jean played on, were the inspiration for Elton John’s song “Philadelphia Freedom,” which serves as their anthem.
King stopped playing competitive tennis in 1984, and she became the first female commissioner in sports history and one of the league’s owners. She held the position until 2001. The World TeamTennis Smash Hits, an “annual all-star charity tennis tournament” that supports the Elton John AIDS Foundation, was launched in 1992 by King and Elton John. Following her retirement, Billie Jean captained the American Fed Cup squad and coached the country’s women’s Olympic tennis team.
She was selected in 2013 to represent the United States as part of the Presidential Delegation to the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. However, she had to withdraw due to her mother’s illness; Betty passed on the day of the opening ceremonies. “All major team competitions, including Davis Cup, are named after men, and we think it’s fitting that the women’s world cup of tennis would be named after someone as iconic as Billie Jean King, who changed the face of women’s sports,” International Tennis Federation president David Haggerty said of the honor. In 2020, the Fed Cup has renamed the Billie Jean King Cup.
How Did Billie Jean King Won Awards And Honors?
King became the first tennis player and female athlete to be selected “Sports Illustrated” Sportsman of the Year in 1972. In 1967, she was named the Associated Press Female Athlete of the Year. She was listed among the “100 Most Important Americans of the 20th Century” in “Life” magazine’s list in 1990. In 1999, she was honored with the Arthur Ashe Courage Award and inducted into the Chicago Gay and Lesbian Hall of Fame. Billie Jean received an award from the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) in 2000 for “furthering the visibility and inclusiveness of the community in her work.”
She was honored by the International Tennis Federation with the Philippe Chatrier Award in 2003, and in 2006, she was admitted to the California Hall of Fame. In addition to being elected into the Southern California Tennis Hall of Fame in 2011 and the National Gay and Lesbian Sports Hall of Fame in 2013, King won the “Sunday Times” Sports Women of the Year Lifetime Achievement Award in 2007.
The BBC Sports Personality of the Year Lifetime Achievement Award was given to her in 2018. The USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center opened in New York City’s Flushing Meadows-Corona Park in 2006, while the Billie Jean King Sports Complex is situated at California State University, Los Angeles.