(Picture of Althea Gibson)
Althea Gibson, who was born August 25, 1927 in Silver SC.
Gibson was fortunate to come to the attention of Dr.
Walter Johnson is a VA physician who contributed
to the black community.
Althea got the best instruction and competition through
Dr Johnson and the USTA to get her into the recognized
tennis scene. She is known as the first African American
to win championships at Grand Slam tournaments
such as Wimbledon, the French Open, The
Australian Doubles and the United States Open in
the late 1950s.
Gibson won 11 major titles in the late 1950s,
involving singles titles at the French Open,
Wimbledon, and the US Open as welll as 3 straight
doubles crowns at the French Open.
By 1957, she was the first African American to
be voted by the Associated Press as Female
Athlete of the Year. (It’s wonderful to be chosen
for such a title, especially out of many people.
That shows how she stands out.)
The next year she won that same title. One year she earned $100,000
in conjunction with playing a series of matches
before Harlem Globetrotter basketball games.
(My comment :Amazing how sports draw in so much attention.
Especially the scholarships that roll in because
of being an athlete)
She became New Jersey State Commissioner of
Athletics in 1975, a position she carried on with
for 10 years. THen she served on the State’s
Athletics Control Board until 1988 and the
Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness until 1992.
This information can be found here: