Today in Black History 07/10/2015 | Arthur Robert Ashe, Jr. - The Charles H. Wright Museum Blog

Today in Black History 07/10/2015 | Arthur Robert Ashe, Jr.

July 10, 1943 Arthur Robert Ashe, Jr., hall of fame tennis player and civil rights activist, was born in Richmond, Virginia. Ashe became the first Black player selected to the United States Davis Cup team in 1963 and won the 1965 National Collegiate Athletic Association tennis singles title. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in business administration from the University of California at Los Angeles in 1966. Ashe won the U. S. Amateur Championship and the U. S. Open in 1968, the only player to ever win both in the same year. He turned professional in 1969 and won the 1970 Australian Open and 1975 Wimbledon. Ashe retired in 1980 and was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1985. Ashe died February 6, 1993. His autobiography, “Days of Grace,” was published immediately following his death. Posthumously, Ashe received many honors, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor, presented by President William J. Clinton May 5, 1993, a statue on Monument Avenue in Richmond unveiled July 10, 1996, a commemorative postage stamp issued by the United States Postal Service in 2005, and the naming of the ESPN Arthur Ashe Courage Award given to a member of the sports world who best exhibits courage in the face of adversity. The main stadium at the United States Tennis Association National Tennis Center was renamed in his honor. Ashe’s name is enshrined in the Ring of Genealogy at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History in Detroit, Michigan. “Arthur Ashe: Tennis and Justice in the Civil Rights Era” was published in 2014.

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