ARTHUR ASHE Biography - Famous Sports men and women


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Name: Arthur Ashe                                                                       
Born: 10 July 1943 Virginia, USA                                                         
Arthur Robert Ashe, Jr. (July 10, 1943 – February 6, 1993) was a prominent             
African American tennis player who was born and raised in Richmond, Virginia.           
During his playing career, he won three Grand Slam titles. Ashe is also                 
remembered for his efforts to further social causes.                                     
In his youth, Ashe was small and decided to start playing tennis. He was coached         
by Ron Charity and later coached by Walter Johnson. Tired of having to travel           
great distances to play caucasian youths in segregated Richmond, Virginia, Ashe         
accepted an offer from a Saint Louis, Missouri tennis official to move there and         
attend Sumner High School. Young Ashe was recognized by Sports Illustrated               
for his playing.                                                                         
Ashe was awarded a tennis scholarship to the University of California at Los             
Angeles (UCLA) in 1963. That same year, Ashe became the first African American           
ever selected to the United States Davis Cup team.                                       
In 1965, Ashe won the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) singles           
title and contributed to UCLA's winning the team NCAA tennis championship. While         
at UCLA, Ashe was initiated as a member of the Upsilon chapter of Kappa Alpha           
Psi fraternity.                                                                         
In 1968, Ashe won the inaugural U.S. Open and aided the U.S Davis Cup team to           
victory. Concerned that tennis professionals were not receiving winnings                 
commensurate with the sport's growing popularity, Ashe supported formation of           
the Association of Tennis Professionals. That year would prove even more                 
momentous for Ashe when he was denied a visa by the South African government,           
thereby keeping him out of the South African Open. Ashe used this denial to             
publicize South Africa's apartheid policies. In the media, Ashe called for South         
Africa to be expelled from the professional tennis circuit.                             
In 1969, Ashe turned professional. In 1970, Ashe won his second Grand Slam               
singles title at the Australian Open.                                                   
In 1975, Ashe won Wimbledon, unexpectedly defeating Jimmy Connors in the final.         
He played for several more years, but after being slowed by heart surgery in             
1979, Ashe retired in 1980.                                                             
Ashe remains the only African American player ever to win the men's singles at           
Wimbledon, the U.S. Open, or Australian Open. He is one of only two men of black         
African ancestry to win a Grand Slam singles title (the other being France's             
Yannick Noah, who won the French Open in 1983).                                         
In his 1979 autobiography, Jack Kramer, the long-time tennis promoter and great         
player himself, ranked Ashe as one of the 21 best players of all time.                   
After his retirement, Ashe took on many new tasks, including writing for Time           
magazine, commentating for ABC Sports, founding the National Junior Tennis               
League, and serving as captain of the U.S. Davis Cup team. In 1983, Ashe                 
underwent a second heart surgery. He was elected to the International Tennis             
Hall of Fame in 1985.