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stories and histories THERE WOULDN’T BE A SERENA OR A NAOMI WITHOUT AN ALTHEA GIBSON (1927-2003).

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Adeyemi Olajide » There wouldn’t be a Serena or a Naomi without an Althea Gibson (1927-2003).

She was one of the first black athlete to break the color line in international tennis, winning the French Open in 1956, followed by Wimbledon and what would ultimately become the U.S. Open in 1957—a feat she repeated in 1958.

The Associated Press named her the Female Athlete of the year in both 1957 and 1958. In addition to her work on the tennis court, Gibson also played golf professionally. After retiring from the sports world, Gibson had a brief stint as a singer and actor then later became the Athletic Commissioner of New Jersey.
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