Billie Jean King is a legend of tennis and women’s rights. In a career that spanned more than 30 years, Billie Jean made history on and off the court through her campaigns for greater equality for women in the sport, and later for LGBT+ rights. A fearless woman whose talent and achievement are unmatched in sports, Billie Jean is an inspiration to many around the world and uses her platform to discuss feminism, LGBT+ inclusion and equality as an event speaker.
39-time Grand Slam winner, Billie Jean had one of the most high-profile tennis careers of the 20th century, which saw her named as the greatest ever female player, a title earned through decades of dedication and resilience. At the height of her achievements, Billie Jean secured a record 20 titles at Wimbledon alone and in 1972 she won three Grand Slam titles in one year including Wimbledon, French Open and US Open.
Billie Jean’s career went far beyond the court, and much of the global admiration for her came from her fight for equal rights. From accepting the one dollar contracts in protest to unequal pay to founding the Women’s Tennis Association for equal representation, Billie Jean was a pioneer of sports feminism. Perhaps best known for the most widely watched tennis match of all time, later coined ‘The Battle of the Sexes’ Billie Jean accepted the challenge to play Bobby Riggs who believed the women’s game was inferior. In 1973 she beat Riggs in three sets, a pivotal moment for women in tennis.
Much of Billie Jean’s work since retirement has been dedicated to supporting LGBT+ rights, as an openly gay woman who suffered from shame for much for her time in the limelight. Billie Jean has been awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom for her work on behalf of the LGBT+ community, she’s been inducted into the National Women’s and International Tennis Halls of Fame and received a BBC Lifetime Achievement. For an exceptional speaker with an extraordinary career, book Billie Jean King today.