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President's Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition

Billie Jean King

Council Member

Sports Icon and Humanitarian

Billie Jean King

Billie Jean King, member of the President's Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition, is a sports icon and humanitarian who won 39 Grand Slam singles, doubles, and mixed doubles tennis titles, including a record 20 championships at Wimbledon. She empowered women and educated men in the historic 1973 "Battle of the Sexes," in which she defeated Bobby Riggs, a former number one player in the world. She founded the Women's Tennis Association and served as its first president. She also founded the Women's Sports Foundation, Women's Sports Magazine, and co-founded World TeamTennis, a groundbreaking co-ed professional tennis league, and World TeamTennis Recreational League, a nationwide, grassroots co-ed tennis program. On August 9, 2009, King was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Barack Obama, making her the first female athlete to receive this honor. LIFE Magazine also named her "one of the most important Americans of the 20th century." A champion for social change and equality, she continues to help the under-served. King is a member of the Board of Trustees for the Elton John AIDS Foundation and the Women's Sports Foundation. She has long been a tireless fighter for equal rights and a champion of Title IX legislation that aimed to equalize opportunities on and off the playing field.

Full Bio
  • Twenty time Wimbledon tennis champion.
  • Founder and first president of the Women's Tennis Association.
  • Board of Trustees member for the Elton John AIDS Foundation.

Fun Facts

  • icon of television setI've appeared on Law and Order and Ugly Betty.
  • icon of a playground slideI used to work as a playground instructor.
  • icon of a pianoMy good friend Elton John penned his song, Philadelphia Freedom, for me.
  • icon of a tennis racket and ballI love to play tennis in Central Park.
Image of Billie Jean King speaking at an event

Billie Jean King