Arthur Ashe (July 10, 1943 - February 6, 1993) was a prominent
African American tennis player who was born and raised in Richmond,
Virginia. During his playing career, he won three Grand Slam
titles. Ashe is also remembered for his efforts to further social
causes. In 1963, Ashe became the first African American ever
selected to the United States Davis Cup team. In 1969, Ashe turned
professional. In 1970, Ashe won his second Grand Slam singles title
at the Australian Open. In 1975, Ashe won Wimbledon, unexpectedly
defeating Jimmy Connors in the final. He played for several more
years, but after being slowed by heart surgery in 1979, Ashe
retired in 1980.
Ashe remains the only African American player ever to win the
men's singles at Wimbledon, the U.S. Open, or Australian Open. He
is one of only two men of black African ancestry to win a Grand
Slam singles title.
The story of Ashe's life turned from success to tragedy in 1988,
however, when Ashe discovered he had contracted HIV during the
blood transfusions he had received during one of his two heart
surgeries. Two months before his death, he founded the Arthur Ashe
Institute for Urban Health, to help address issues of inadequate
health care delivery and was named Sports Illustrated magazine's
Sportsman of the Year.