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Celebrating Black History Month
February 17, 2017
In recognition of Black History Month, the Town of Pembroke Park will be honoring a different influential African-American each day.
Today’s honoree is:
(1927 – 2003)
Ms. Althea Gibson was born on August 25, 1927 in Silver, South Carolina. At a young age, her family moved to Harlem in New York City. She loved playing sports and quickly became a local table tennis champion. In 1941, just a year after picking up a tennis racquet for the first time, she won a local tennis tournament sponsored by the American Tennis Association. She made history becoming the FIRST African-American tennis player to compete at both the U.S. National Championships in 1950 and Wimbledon in 1951. Althea was one of the top 10 tennis players in the United States by 1953.
In 1955, she gained sponsorship from the United States Lawn Tennis Association and was sent around the world on a State Department tour allowing her to compete in India, Pakistan, and Burma. In 1956, she won the French Open and then both Wimbledon and the U.S. Open titles in 1957 and 1958. Althea made history again when she became the FIRST African-American woman to ever compete in a pro golf tour. After retirement in 1971, she was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame. In 1975 she took a position as the Commissioner of Athletics for New Jersey State and served in that position for 10 years. (Cited: www.biography.com)
We salute Ms. Althea Gibson, for her remarkable accomplishments.