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Billie Jean King

Billie Jean King, Greenwich, Connecticut

If you don’t know who Billie Jean King is, then you should. No, she is not the Billie Jean from Michael Jackson’s song, the stalker girl who hopped his fence and claimed he was the father of her child. This Billie Jean is in a class by herself in a much bigger way. Named Time Magazine’s Person of the Year in 1975, she was an advocate for gender equality and social justice decades before it became a populist movement. In 1973 at age 29, she challenged 55 year old Bobby Riggs, who at the time was boasting about male superiority in tennis, and won, raising the rights of female athletes which resulted in better pay and treatment for women overall in society. She is regarded by many in the sport as one of the greatest tennis players of all time.

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