Listen-and-Read-Along MY HERO Stories - for ESL

Althea Gibson

by Tori from Peach Tree

The high sentiments always win in the end; the leaders who offer blood, toil, tears and sweat always get more out of their followers than those who offer safety and a good time. - George Orwell
Althea Gibson
Althea Gibson on the cover of El Gráfico, 1958
Unknown author / Public domain via Wikimedia

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.

Page created on 8/23/2013 11:58:50 AM

Last edited 8/19/2020 5:27:10 PM

The beliefs, viewpoints and opinions expressed in this hero submission on the website are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the beliefs, viewpoints and opinions of The MY HERO Project and its staff.

Related Links

International Tennis Hall of Fame - Althea Gibson paved the way for so many others
Smithsonian Magazine - "Althea Gibson, Who Smashed Through Racial Barriers in Tennis, Honored With Statue at U.S. Open"