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Arthur Ashe

From Wakipedia, a free encyclopedia

Arthur Robert Ashe, Jr. (July 10, 1943—February 6, 1993) was a well-known professional tennis player once ranked as No. 1 in the World. He won three Grand Slam tournaments in singles and two Grand Slam tournaments in doubles. There are four Grand Slam tournaments each year and they are the most important tennis tournaments in the world. His wins rank him among the best tennis players from the United States.

Arthur Ashe was born in Richmond, Virginia. His father's house was on the grounds of Brookfield Playground, the largest playground in Richmond for blacks only. The playground had a tennis court and this is where he first learned to play tennis. He attended high school in Richmond but later attended high school in St. Louis, Missouri, in order to focus on tennis.

Arthur Ashe received a tennis scholarship to attend the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) in 1963. At UCLA he was the first black tennis player ever selected for the U.S. Davis Cup team. He also won the NCAA singles title in 1965. This helped UCLA win the NCAA team championship that year. In 1968, he was the first black male to win the U.S. Open.

In 1966, he joined the U.S. Army and was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant. In the Army, he worked with the tennis program at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. He was also a data processor until he was discharged from the Army in 1969.

Arthur Ashe continued to win many important tennis tournaments, and was the only black man ever to win the singles title at Wimbledon, the US Open, and the Australian Open. In 1972, the South African government would not let him play in the South African Open because he was black. Ashe reacted by denouncing South Africa's policies that separated white and black people, called apartheid. He continued to be a supporter for civil rights for the rest of his life.

He retired from tennis in 1980. He was still influential in the sport of tennis, however. He wrote for Time magazine and was a sports commentator for ABC Sports. He founded the National Junior Tennis League and was elected into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1985.

In 1979, Arthur Ashe suffered a heart attack. This was very unusual for such a healthy person. However, Arthur Ashe used his own heart attack to help educate others about the dangers of heart disease. He underwent two heart bypass surgeries, contracting HIV from the blood used during his second heart bypass surgery. Again, Arthur Ashe used his health condition to help educate others. He founded the Arthur Ashe Foundation for the Defeat of AIDS and the Arthur Ashe Institute for Urban Health before his death on February 6, 1993. He was Sports Illustrated magazine's "Sportsman of the Year" in 1993.

Over 6,000 people attended his funeral. It was held at the Arthur Ashe Athletic Center in Richmond, Virginia. Governor Douglas Wilder allowed Arthur Ashe's body to lie in state at the Governor's Mansion in Richmond. This is an honor given to few people in which a coffin can be viewed by the public. Later that year, Ashe was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Bill Clinton.

Arthur Ashe

Arthur Ashe


Career record: 818 wins - 260 losses
Career titles: 35
Highest ranking: No. 1 (in 1968)

Grand Slam Singles results

Australian Open: Won (1970)
French Open: Quarter Finals (1970, 1971)
Wimbledon: Won (1975)
US Open: Won (1968)
World Championship Tennis Finals: Won (1975)


Career record: 323 wins - 176 losses
Career titles: 18
Highest ranking: No. 15 (in 1977)

Grand Slam Doubles results

Australian Open: Won (1977)
French Open: Won (1971)
Wimbledon: Finals (1971)
US Open: Finals (1968)

Personal details

Born: July 10, 1943, Richmond, Virginia
Died: February 6, 1993 (aged 49) New York, New York
Spouse: Jeanne Moutoussamy
Profession: Tennis player

Some information based on record in Wikipedia used under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. Photo by Rob Bogaerts from Nationaal Archief Fotocollectie Anefo used under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.