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Billie Jean King          

Former World #1 Professional Tennis Player & Sports Icon; Advocate for Women's Equality

Billie Jean King is the founder of the Billie Jean King Leadership Initiative. She has long been a champion for social change and equality. King created new inroads for all genders in sports and beyond during her legendary career and she continues to make her mark today.

King was named one of the ‘100 Most Important Americans of the 20th Century’ by Life Magazine and, in 2009, in recognition of her work as a social justice pioneer and her accomplishments in sports, President Obama awarded her with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor. In 2020, King became the first woman to have an annual global team sports event named in her honor when Fed Cup, the women’s world cup of tennis, was rebranded as the Billie Jean King Cup. Her forthcoming memoir, ALL IN: An Autobiography, will be published by Knopf in August 2021.

In 2014, King, and her partner Ilana Kloss, launched the Billie Jean King Leadership Initiative to address equality and inclusion issues in the workplace. In 2018, King and Kloss were named to the ownership group of the Los Angeles Dodgers and in 2019 King’s deep Southern California roots were recognized with the opening of the Billie Jean King Main Library in her hometown of Long Beach, California. In 2020 King was honored with the release of the Billie Jean King Barbie doll, part of Mattel’s Inspiring Women Series, and joined the ownership groups of the Los Angeles Sparks and Angel City FC.

King grew up playing tennis in the California public parks and won 39 Grand Slam titles during her career. She helped form the Virginia Slims Series and founded the Women’s Tennis Association. She defeated Bobby Riggs in one of the greatest moments in sports history – the Battle of the Sexes on Sept. 20, 1973.

In 2017, Fox Searchlight released the critically acclaimed film, Battle of the Sexes, starring Academy Award® winner Emma Stone as King and Academy Award® nominee Steve Carrell as Bobby Riggs, which depicts both players’ battles on and off the court as well as the cultural and social impact of the groundbreaking match.

In 1974 King co-founded World TeamTennis, the revolutionary professional team tennis league. That same year she also founded the Women’s Sports Foundation. In August 2006, the National Tennis Center, home of the US Open, was renamed the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in honor of her accomplishments on and off the court. In 2014 President Obama named King to the Presidential Delegation for the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. In 2018 King received a Lifetime Achievement Award as part of the prestigious BBC Sports Personality of the Year Awards. In 2019 ESPN established the Billie Jean King Youth Leadership Award, which is presented annually at the network’s Sports Humanitarian Awards ceremony. King serves on the board of the Women’s Sports Foundation, is an adidas Global Ambassador and is a past member of the board of the Elton John AIDS Foundation and a past member of the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition.

Speech Topics


A Conversation with Billie Jean King

The living legend shares a lifetime of stories about equality, inclusion and the importance of connecting with others.

Lift, Learn, Lead

With the millennial generation expected to be 75% of the global workforce by 2025, King looks at the unique opportunity in the workplace for generations past, present and future to work together in an inclusive environment.

Pressure Is A Privilege and Other Life Lessons

King draws on her rich history in and out of sports to share a lifetime of breaking barriers and opening doors all in an effort to secure equal rights for all.

News


Pioneer Billie Jean King Moved The Baseline For Women's Tennis ...

A new PBS documentary looks at King's legacy as both a tennis champion — she has a record 20 Wimbledon titles — and the leader of a female player uprising ...

'American Masters: Billie Jean King': TV review - NY Daily News

PBS' “American Masters” series, which has never done a sports figure before, picked a good first one in Billie Jean King.

“American Masters: Billie Jean King” Review | Variety

Although Billie Jean King is described as the first “sports figure” to be featured on “American Masters,” her cultural influence obviously goes well beyond lobs ...

Billie Jean King joins LA Dodgers ownership group

Billie Jean King and partner Ilana Kloss join the Los Angeles Dodgers ownership group.

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