Billie Jean Moffitt was born in Long Beach, California, in 1943. As a kid, she was very interested in tennis and learned it at a very young age. She attended college at California State College at Los Angeles (then Los Angeles State College). When she was 18 in 1962, Billie Jean suprisingly defeated the world's leading women's tennis player, Margaret Smith Court, at Wimbleton. After this incident, nothing could stop her and she became one of the most successful players in tennis history.
Billie Jean won the Wimbleton singles tournament in 1966, 1967, 1972, 1973, and 1975. She won the doubles in 1961, 1962, 1965, 1967, 1968, 1970, 1971, 1972, 1973, and 1979. Then, she won the mixed doubles at Wimbleton (doubles with a male partner) in 1967, 1971, 1973, and 1974. Her total of 20 Wimbleton titles set a record as well.
Billie Jean also won a lot of championships at the U.S. Championships. She won the singles in 1967, 1971, 1972, and 1974, and she won the doubles in 1964, 1967, 1974, 1978, and 1980.
In 1965, Billie Jean married a law student named Larry King, and in 1967 became the first woman since 1939's Alice Marble to win singles, doubles, and mixed in Wimbleton and the U.S. Championships. In 1968, she also won the Australian championships, and in 1972, she won the French Open. Also important was her win over Bobby Riggs in 1973 where she demonstrated her point that there should be equal treatment for women in sports.
Also in 1973, Billie Jean cofounded the Women's Tennis Association. In 1974, she established the Women's Sports Organization with swimmer Donna de Varona, track star Wyomia Tyus, diver Micki King, and cyclist and speed skater Sheila Young. Lastly, in 1996, she coached the women's Olympic tennis team.
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