Want to ask a question? Click here

Who was Althea Gibson?

Ryan Kerbow

Althea Gibson will be remembered for winning major tennis tournaments during segregation as well as being the first black to earn female athlete of the year from The Associated Press, in 1957.

Gibson moved to Wilmington in 1946 and attended all-black Williston High School. She did so for Dr. Hubert A Eaton to help her with her tennis game. A year later, she captured 10 straight American Tennis Association national matches. Two years later, she went to Florida A&M and, during the same year in 1947, she played against a white player for the first time ever. It was clear Gibson was headed for greatness.

Althea GibsonIn 1956, she won the French Open, and a year later won both Wimbledon and the U.S. Open. In 1958, she captured both Wimbledon and the U.S. Open and then retired for a brief stint as a singer and actress in a movie in 1959. In 1964, she joined the Ladies Professional Golf Association Tour but returned to tennis seven years later. She died Sept. 23, 2003, in East Orange, N.J. The tennis facility at Empie Park in Wilmington is named in her memory.

Got a comment about this post or know more about the answer? Click here to let us know!

Bookmark and Share

Ask a question

Ask a question

If you’re looking for answers about living in coastal North Carolina, you’ve come to the right place. If we don’t have the answer to your question, we’ll find out or try to find someone who does. Hey, that’s our job! So, ask your question below and we’ll do our best to find the answer. Once we do, we’ll post it in an appropriate category.

Can we use your name to credit you by name (no e-mail or other contact information) with this question when we post an answer?
Your question:

Post a comment

Talk to us!

Have a comment about this post or know more about the answer? Use this form to let us know. Note that all comments are moderated and must be approved before they are posted, although you may see your own comments the first time you post them.

Your comment: