born 1943

She's a former #1-ranked tennis player with 12 grand slam titles to her name, but Billie Jean King may be best remembered for her victory over tennis champ Bobby Riggs in their 1973 "Battle of the Sexes."

A tireless advocate for women's rights, Billie founded the Women's Tennis Association and piloted the Virginia Slims ~ the first female pro tour. She also campaigned for Title IX, which requires schools to provide equal funding for men's + women's sports.

Billie took an important risk by becoming one of the first prominent American athletes to publicly acknowledge she was gay. Today, the legend continues to lead way towards greater equality in sports + society.

bio bits

her quotes

all quotes by Billie Jean King (11)

"The most important words that have helped me in life when things have gone right or when things have gone wrong are 'accept responsibility.'"

Unversity of Massachusetts commencement address | may 2000

"Reputation is what others think about you. What's far more important is character, because that is what you think about yourself."

The Right Words At the Right Time | april 2002

"A lot of people talk about getting into an opponent's head as part of their strategy. I don't really do that. I prefer to assess my opponents strengths and weaknesses quickly and then get my own act together."

Pressure is a Privilege | 2008

"I didn't ask for help enough when I was younger because I was all about 'just doing it' ~ sucking it up and not acknowledging or dealing with my feelings. Now I know better."

Pressue is a Privilege | 2008

"Once you accept and embrace the passing of the torch, it is much easier to be graceful and helpful to those coming after you. Each generation shapes the future for the next."

Pressure is a Privilege | 2008

"Pressure is a privilege."

Pressure Is a Privilege | august 2008

"Champions adjust."

Simmons Leadership Conference | march 2012

"Everyone's an influencer."

'It's not about the money. It's about the equality message' | june 2013

"Equal prize money is the message, not the money."

40th Anniversary of the Women's Tennis Association | august 2013

"One tennis match to me is almost like life. There are so many ups and downs. You can be down to where you think there’s no way possible you can win a match. You just keep trying step by step and finally you win. The next time you’re in a position when you’re ahead and you lose. It’s just like life. Life’s like that."

Plays Tennis Like a Man, Speaks Out Like — Billie Jean King | august 2013

"I started thinking about society and women and what this might mean…I knew I had to win."

Billie Jean King Activist & Champion | march 2015
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curated with care by Kathleen Murray {september 2014}