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Billie Jean King

Billie Jean King (b. 1943), professional tennis player

Born Billie Jean Moffitt on November 22, 1943 in Long Beach, California, United States she is considered to be one of the greatest female tennis players and female athletes in history.

In 1965 she married Larry King and since then has been better known under her husband's family name.

Bille Jean King won the triple crown for singles, doubles, and mixed doubles in the US and Britain. She is also credited with being one of the first female athletes to speak out against sexual inequality in organized sports. In what was billed as The Battle of the Sexes', she defeated Bobby Riggs[?] on September 20, 1973 6-4, 6-4, 6-3 before 30,492 (the largest live audience for tennis) in the Houston Astrodome[?] and television viewers in 37 countries.

Billie Jean King is the only woman to win U.S. singles titles on all 4 surfaces on which it has been played (grass, clay, indoor, and hard.) She is one of only 8 players to hold a singles title in each of the Grand Slam in tennis events. Billie Jean King was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame[?] in Newport, Rhode Island in 1987.

In 1990, Life magazine named her one of the "100 Most Important Americans of the 20th Century".

In 1971, King (whilst still married) began an affair with Marilyn Barnett, a hairdresser. This came to light in a lawsuit in 1981, where King acknowledged the affair and thus became the first American athlete to acknowledge a homosexual relationship. Later in life, she divorced. She received an award from GLAAD[?], an organisation devoted to reducing discrimination against homosexuals and bisexuals, in 2001 for "furthering the visibility and inclusion of the community in her work". The award noted her involvement in production and the free distribution of educational films, as well as serving on the boards of several AIDS charities.

Major tournaments won:

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