Billie Jean King
Named one of the “100 Most Important Americans of the 20th Century” by LIFE magazine, a 2009 recipient of the U.S. Presidential Medal of Freedom and a 2022 recipient of the French National Order of the Legion of Honour, Billie Jean King is the founder of the Billie Jean King Leadership Initiative, founder of the Women’s Tennis Association and the Women’s Sports Foundation, and is part of the ownership group of the Los Angeles Dodgers, Angel City FC and the L.A. Sparks.
In her legendary tennis career, King captured 39 Grand Slam singles, doubles and mixed doubles titles including a record 20 Wimbledon championships. Her historic win over Bobby Riggs in the 1973 Battle of the Sexes is one of the greatest moments in sports history. In September 2020, King became the first woman to have an annual global team sports event named in her honour when Fed Cup, the women’s world cup of tennis, was rebranded as the Billie Jean King Cup. The National Tennis Center, home of the US Open, was renamed the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in 2006 in honour of her accomplishments on and off the court.
In 2017, Fox Searchlight released the critically acclaimed film Battle of the Sexes, which depicts the cultural and social impact of the groundbreaking match against Riggs. In 2018, King received a Lifetime Achievement Award as part of the prestigious BBC Sports Personality of the Year Awards. In 2019, King’s deep Southern California roots were recognized with the opening of the Billie Jean King Main Library in her hometown of Long Beach, California. In 2020, King was honoured with the release of the Billie Jean King Barbie doll, part of Mattel’s Inspiring Women Series, and in 2021 she received the Laureus Lifetime Achievement Award and the Sports Illustrated Muhammad Ali Legacy Award.
King serves on the board of the Women’s Sports Foundation, is an adidas Global Ambassador, is a past member of the board of the Elton John AIDS Foundation and a past member of the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition. Her New York Times best-selling memoir, All In: An Autobiography, was published in August 2021.