Althea Gibson
Country USA
Biographical Information
Birthplace Clarendon County, South Carolina, USA
Physical Information
Gender Female
Height 1.80 m (5 ft 11 in)
Tennis Information
Grand Slam results
Australian Open F (1958)
French Open W (1956)
Wimbledon W (1957, 1958)
US Open W (1957, 1958)
Grand Slam Doubles results
Australian Open W (1957)
French Open W (1956)
Wimbledon W (1956, 1957, 1958)
US Open W (1957)
Last updated on 23 August, 2011.

Althea Gibson is a professional American tennis player born August 25, 1927 in Clarendon County, South Carolina. Raised in New York City’s Harlem, Althea Gibson competed successfully in several sports before pursuing a career in tennis. Forced to play in what was essentially a segregated sport, she won ten straight national championships for black players beginning in 1947.


It wasn’t until 1950 at age 23 that Althea Gibson became the first black to compete at the US Open. She was the first African American to achieve success at the highest levels of the game, including winning the French and Italian singles championships in 1956, and the British and US titles in 1957 and 1958. She turned professional in 1959, and won the professional singles title in 1960.

Personal LifeEdit

Althea Gibson’s autobiography, I Always Wanted to be Somebody, was published in 1958. She was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1971 and served in several public service positions, including New Jersey state commissioner of athletics and the governor's council on physical fitness.

Gibson was married twice. Her first marriage to William Darben took place on October 17, 1965 and the couple was divorced in 1976. Darben died in 1995. She was also married to Sydney Llewellyn on April 11, 1983 and was divorced in 1988.

On September 28, 2003, at the age of 76, Gibson died in East Orange, New Jersey due to circulatory failure.

See AlsoEdit

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