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Gibson, Althea

Born: 1927 AD
Died: 2003 AD
Nationality: American
Categories: Athlete, Tennis Player

1927 – She was born on August 25 of this year in Silver, South Carolina.


1946 – She, Gibson moved to Wilmington, North Carolina this year for tennis training.


1947 – At the age of 20, she won the first of 10 consecutive national championships run by the American Tennis Association, the then-governing body for black tournaments.


1950 – At age 23, she was finally given the opportunity to participate in this year Championships. She became the first African-American woman to be a competitor on the world tennis tour.


1953 – She continued to improve her tennis game while pursuing an education. She graduated from Florida A&M University on a tennis and basketball scholarship and moved to Jefferson City, Missouri to work as an athletic instructor at Lincoln University.


1955 – She won in the Italian Championships. The following year, she won her first Grand Slam titles, capturing the French Championships in singles and in doubles with


1957 – She lost in the singles final of the Australian Championships, again to Irvin. The two women, however, teamed to capture the doubles title, as Buxton had retired prematurely at the age of 22 due to a serious hand injury.


1958 – After successfully defending her Wimbledon singles title and winning her third consecutive Wimbledon women’s doubles title, Gibson again won the singles title at the U.S. Championships.


1959 – In retirement, she wrote her autobiography and in this year recorded an album, Althea Gibson Sings, as well as appearing in the motion picture, The Horse Soldiers.


1964 – She became the first African-American woman to play in the Ladies Professional Golf Association. However, she was too old to be successful and only played for a few years.


1971 – She was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame.


1975 – She was appointed the New Jersey state commissioner of athletics.


1992 – She suffered a stroke. A few years later, Gibson called Buxton and told her she was on the brink of suicide. Gibson was living on welfare, and unable to pay for rent or medication.


2003 – At the age of 76, Gibson died in East Orange, New Jersey due to respiratory failure. He was interred there in the Rosedale Cemetery, Orange, New Jersey.