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Main > Sports > Althea Gibson

Althea Gibson (1927-08-25 - 2003-09-28) was an American sportswoman who, on 1950-08-22, became the first African-American woman to be a competitor on the world tennis tour and the first to win a Grand Slam title in 1956. She is sometimes referred to as "the Jackie Robinson of tennis" for breaking the "color barrier." Gibson was a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.

She became the first black person to win a title at Wimbledon, winning her first of two consecutive singles championships. She responded by winning the U.S. Championships (U.S. Open). For her accomplishments that year, Gibson earned the No. 1 ranking in the world and was named the Associated Press Female Athlete of the Year. In 1971, Gibson was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame. In 2003, at the age of 76, Gibson died due to respiratory failure. On the opening night of the 2007 U.S. Open, the 50th anniversary of Gibson's victory in 1957, Gibson was inducted into U.S. Open Court of Champions.

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