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Small Archive of letters, mostly written to Billie Jean King, with photographs., Billie Jean King, et al.
1 Billie Jean King, et al. Small Archive of letters, mostly written to Billie Jean King, with photographs.
Various Places 1969-1972 Collectible: Very Good 
Various places: Various authors, 1969-1970. A full list of the contents of this archive may be had upon request. Very Good. Billie Jean King (BJK) was born in Long Beach in 1943. BJK began playing tennis at an early age and soon became one of the best tennis players in the world. She was ranked the No. 1 professional tennis player in the world, and won a total of 39 Grand Slam titles throughout her career, including 12 singles, 16 doubles and 11 mixed doubles titles. She was married to Lawrence King (b. 1945) from 1965 to 1987: some of these letters offered in this archive were written to Larry King, and suggest that he helped her career as her manager and publicity agent during the late 1960s. In 1967, BJK criticized the United States Lawn Tennis Association in a series of press conferences, which led to the Open Era of tennis beginning in 1968. At this time, BJK began to campaign for equal prize money in the men's and women's games. As financial backing of the women's game improved, BJK became the first woman athlete to earn over $100,000 in prize money in 1971. By this time, BJK had become more than a top level athlete, but a widely recognized celebrity. This archive of papers documents some of the pressures and opportunities that opened for this influential and respected athlete. As early as 1968, BJK realized that she was interested in women, and in 1971, while still married to Larry King, she began an intimate relationship with her secretary, Marilyn Barnett. King was forced to acknowledge the relationship as a result of a May 1981 "palimony" lawsuit filed by Barnett. This made BJK the first prominent professional female athlete known to be gay or lesbian. BJK remains active as a business woman, commentator, and an advocate for the sport of tennis. In 2006, BJK received an award from GLAAD, an organization devoted to reducing discrimination against gays, lesbians, and bisexuals, for "furthering the visibility and inclusion of the community in her work," including serving on the boards of several AIDS charities. 
Price: 100.00 USD
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