Facts about Althea Gibson
Althea Gibson Biography
The daughter of sharecroppers, Althea Gibson became a tennis sensation in the 1950s as the first African-American to win the world’s biggest tennis championships.
Her 1956 triumph at the French Tennis Championships (later known as the French Open) made her the first black woman ever to win a major singles title. The next year she won singles titles at both Wimbledon and the U.S. Championships, and repeated the feat in 1958.
Althea Gibson retired as an amateur after the 1958 season, having become an acclaimed public figure. She later toured as a celebrity with the Harlem Globetrotters and then, like Babe Zaharias, chose golf as a second career, playing on the LPGA tour from 1964-71.
Althea Gibson was inducted into the Tennis Hall of Fame in 1971.