A hero to me is someone that isn’t afraid to take a challenge. If they face a difficulty, they would overcome it. Althea Gibson is a hero to me because she overcame the challenges of the world and rose to become one of the greatest tennis players of all time. Even though she faced the prejudice of the segregated America of those days, she ended up winning Wimbledon and other prestigious awards.
Althea Gibson was born August 25, 1927 near Sumter, South Carolina. Both her parents were sharecroppers in South Carolina. After she was born her family moved to Harlem, New York. There she grew up and started to pick up the game of tennis. She was discovered by Dr. Robert W. Johnson in Lynchburg, Virginia. She eventually made it to all of the major tennis championships in the world.
Some of her achievements was winning the French Open (1956), Wimbledon (1957, 1958), French Open doubles (1956, 1957, 1958), and the US Open (1957, 1958). She was the first African –American to win these championships. In her entire career, she has won 11 major titles. She won the Female Athlete Award in 1957, and again in 1958. She was also the 1st African- American to win this award. She also received the NCAA’s highest honor, the Theodore Roosevelt Award in 1991.
Althea Gibson has made an incredible impact on our society today. Her life sadly ended on September 28, 2003 in East Orange, New Jersey due to respiratory failure. She was 76 years old. The tennis community will certainly remember her for her achievements.