Arthur Ashe - African American Men, Family and Life

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Arthur Ashe's Personal Details

Arthur Ashe was a professional tennis player, and the first black man ever to win singles title at at Wimbledon, the US Open, and the Australian Open

InformationDetail
BirthdayJuly 10, 1943
Died onFebruary 6, 1993
NationalityAmerican
FamousAfrican American Men, African American Athletes, Sportspersons, Tennis Players
SpousesJeanne Moutoussamy-Ashe
SiblingsJohnnie
Known asArthur Robert Ashe
Childrens Camera
Universities
  • University of California
  • Los Angeles
  • Sumner High School
  • Maggie L. WalkerGovernor's School for Government and International Studies
Cause of deathAIDS
Birth PlaceRichmond
GenderMale
FatherArthur Ashe Sr.
MotherMattie Cordell Cunningham Ashe
Sun SignCancer
Born inRichmond
Famous asTennis Player
Died at Age49

// Famous African American Men

Arthur Ashe's photo

Who is Arthur Ashe?

Arthur Ashe, Jr. was one of the most prominent tennis players of his time, ranked among the best players to have ever graced the game. An African American, he was the first black to be ranked No.1 in the world. He started playing tennis from the age of six and received coaching from the legendary Robert Walter Johnson who founded the American Tennis Association Junior Development Program for African American youths. After graduating from high school, he earned a tennis scholarship to University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). He was the first African American to be selected to play for United States Davis Cup Team. He also became the first black to win the United States Amateur Championship. He went on to win many more titles over the next few years and created several new world records. Unfortunately, health issues forced him to take an early retirement but still he was not disheartened. He used his celebrity status to campaign for various social causes, notably the fight against apartheid. He contracted HIV from a blood transfusion and started educating people about HIV and AIDS in spite of his own struggles with the condition. He founded the Arthur Ashe Foundation for the Defeat of AIDS shortly before his death.

// Famous African American Athletes

Childhood & Early Life

Arthur was the elder of two sons born to Arthur Ashe Sr. and Mattie Cunningham. His father worked as a handyman. His mother died of pregnancy related complications when he was just six years old.

He started playing tennis from a young age and attended Maggie L. Walker High school. Upon his graduation from high school he was awarded a tennis scholarship to the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) in 1963.

Career

He joined the U.S Army in 1966 taking breaks from time to time to pursue his tennis career. He was discharged from the army in 1969.

In 1968, while serving as 1st Lieutenant in the U.S army, he won the U.S Amateur Championship against Bob Lutz. He also won the U.S Open National Championship in the same year, becoming the only player to have won both the championships in the same year.

He won his second Grand Slam singles title at the Australian Open in 1970. The same year, he turned professional by signing a five-year contract with Lamar Hunt’s World Championship Tennis. In 1972, he helped to form the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP).

In 1975, Ashe played the Wimbledon Final against Jimmy Connors, who was 10-to-1 favorite in the final. But Ashe played brilliantly and defeated Jimmy to win the Wimbledon in an excitingly unexpected match.

The professional career of this exceptionally talented player was unfortunately cut short by health problems and a heart attack forced him to retire in 1980.

Even after he had stopped playing, he kept himself busy by commentating for ABC Sports and writing for Time Magazine.

Major Wins

He played the U.S Open final against Tom Okker of Netherlands and defeated him to clinch the title in 1968. It was his first ever Grand Slam title.

He won the Australian Open against Dick Crealy in 1970. This was a major victory for him since he had lost the finals to Roy Emerson in 1966 and 1967. He became the first non-Australian to win the title in 11 years.

He played in the 1971 French Open-Men's Doubles with partner Marty Riessen to defeat Tom Gorman and Stan Smith to win the finals.

In 1975, he became the first black man to win the Wimbledon Singles’ championship by beating the defending champion Jimmy Connors three sets to one. What made this victory even more special for Ashe is the fact that it was the much younger Jimmy and not he, who was the favorite to win the match.

Ashe and his partner Tony Roche beat Charlie Pasarell and Erik Van Dillen to clinch the Australian Open-Men’s Doubles in 1977.

Awards & Achievements

Ashe was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1985 as an honour for his contribution to the sport of tennis.

He was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian award of the U.S in 1993. The medal honours individuals who have made "an especially meritorious contribution to the security or national interests of the United States, world peace, cultural or other significant public or private endeavors."

Personal Life & Legacy

Arthur Ashe married photographer Jeanne Moutoussamy in 1977. They had one adopted daughter.

He suffered a heart attack in 1979 and underwent bypass surgery. He had another heart surgery in 1983. In 1988 it was discovered that he was HIV+; he had contracted the virus from a tainted blood transfusion during his previous surgery.

He went public with his illness in 1992 and began to work to raise awareness about AIDS. He founded the Arthur Ashe Foundation for the Defeat of AIDS.

He died from AIDS-related pneumonia in 1993 at the age of 49.

Trivia

He is the only black man to win the singles title at Wimbledon, the US Open, or Australian Open.

He was the first famous athlete to die of AIDS.

His daughter is named ‘Camera’ as his wife was a photographer.

He spent the last years of his life writing his memoir ‘Days of Grace’ which he completed days before his death.

// Famous Tennis Players

Arthur Ashe awards

YearNameAward

Other

1993 - Presidential Medal of Freedom
ESPY Award

Arthur Ashe biography timelines

  • // 1963
    He started playing tennis from a young age and attended Maggie L. Walker High school. Upon his graduation from high school he was awarded a tennis scholarship to the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) in 1963.
  • // 1966 To 1969
    He joined the U.S Army in 1966 taking breaks from time to time to pursue his tennis career. He was discharged from the army in 1969.
  • // 1968
    In 1968, while serving as 1st Lieutenant in the U.S army, he won the U.S Amateur Championship against Bob Lutz. He also won the U.S Open National Championship in the same year, becoming the only player to have won both the championships in the same year.
  • // 1970
    He won his second Grand Slam singles title at the Australian Open in 1970. The same year, he turned professional by signing a five-year contract with Lamar Hunt’s World Championship Tennis. In 1972, he helped to form the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP).
  • // 1975
    In 1975, Ashe played the Wimbledon Final against Jimmy Connors, who was 10-to-1 favorite in the final. But Ashe played brilliantly and defeated Jimmy to win the Wimbledon in an excitingly unexpected match.
  • // 1977
    Arthur Ashe married photographer Jeanne Moutoussamy in 1977. They had one adopted daughter.
  • // 1979
    He suffered a heart attack in 1979 and underwent bypass surgery. He had another heart surgery in 1983. In 1988 it was discovered that he was HIV+; he had contracted the virus from a tainted blood transfusion during his previous surgery.
  • // 1980
    The professional career of this exceptionally talented player was unfortunately cut short by health problems and a heart attack forced him to retire in 1980.
  • // 1985
    Ashe was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1985 as an honour for his contribution to the sport of tennis.
  • // 1992
    He went public with his illness in 1992 and began to work to raise awareness about AIDS. He founded the Arthur Ashe Foundation for the Defeat of AIDS.
  • // 1993
    He was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian award of the U.S in 1993. The medal honours individuals who have made "an especially meritorious contribution to the security or national interests of the United States, world peace, cultural or other significant public or private endeavors."

// Famous Sportspersons

Arthur Ashe's FAQ

  • What is Arthur Ashe birthday?

    Arthur Ashe was born at 1943-07-10

  • When was Arthur Ashe died?

    Arthur Ashe was died at 1993-02-06

  • Where was Arthur Ashe died?

    Arthur Ashe was died in New York City

  • Which age was Arthur Ashe died?

    Arthur Ashe was died at age 49

  • Where is Arthur Ashe's birth place?

    Arthur Ashe was born in Richmond

  • What is Arthur Ashe nationalities?

    Arthur Ashe's nationalities is American

  • Who is Arthur Ashe spouses?

    Arthur Ashe's spouses is Jeanne Moutoussamy-Ashe

  • Who is Arthur Ashe siblings?

    Arthur Ashe's siblings is Johnnie

  • Who is Arthur Ashe childrens?

    Arthur Ashe's childrens is Camera

  • What was Arthur Ashe universities?

    Arthur Ashe studied at University of California, Los Angeles, Sumner High School, Maggie L. WalkerGovernor's School for Government and International Studies

  • What is Arthur Ashe's cause of dead?

    Arthur Ashe dead because of AIDS

  • Who is Arthur Ashe's father?

    Arthur Ashe's father is Arthur Ashe Sr.

  • Who is Arthur Ashe's mother?

    Arthur Ashe's mother is Mattie Cordell Cunningham Ashe

  • What is Arthur Ashe's sun sign?

    Arthur Ashe is Cancer

  • How famous is Arthur Ashe?

    Arthur Ashe is famouse as Tennis Player