elisa_rolle (elisa_rolle) wrote,

Billie Jean King & Ilana Kloss

Billie Jean Moffitt King  (born November 22, 1943) is an American former World No. 1 professional tennis player. King won a total of 39 Grand Slam titles through out her career; this includes 12 singles, 16 doubles and 11 mixed doubles titles. Additionally King won the first ever WTA Tour Championships and was a three time winner of the doubles event. King is an advocate for sexual equality and won The Battle of the Sexes tennis match against Bobby Riggs in 1973 and was the founder of the Women's Tennis Association, World Team Tennis and the Women's Sports Foundation.

She married Lawrence (Larry) King in Long Beach, California on September 17, 1965. The couple divorced in 1987. By 1968, King realized that she was interested in women, and in 1971, while still married to Lawrence King, she began an intimate relationship with her secretary, Marilyn Barnett. King was forced to acknowledge the relationship when it became public in a May 1981 "palimony" lawsuit filed by Barnett (later dismessed by a judge), making King the first prominent professional female athlete known to be a homosexual. King said that she had wanted to retire from competitive tennis in 1981 but could not afford to because of the lawsuit.

King is very involved in the Women’s Sports Foundation and the Elton John AIDS Foundation. She says "I believe in the missions of these two organizations because they are about helping others, and making a difference in the lives of those around us. I’m also serving on the President’s Council for Fitness, Sports and Nutrition because I feel that we have to find a way to keep our country—especially our young people—active."

Former tennis player Billie Jean King (L) and her partner Ilana Kloss (R) arrive at a state dinner at the White House October 13, 2011 in Washington, DC. President Barack Obama hosted a state dinner in honor of South Korean President Lee Myung-bak and his wife Kim Yoon-ok. (October 12, 2011 - Source: Alex Wong/Getty Images North America)
Billie Jean King is a former professional tennis player. She won 12 Grand Slam Singles titles, 16 Grand Slam women's doubles titles, and 11 Grand Slam mixed doubles titles. King is an advocate for sexual equality and won The Battle of the Sexes tennis match against Bobby Riggs in 1973. She confessed in 2007 that she had concealed her sexuality for so many years because her parents were homophobic. She is now in a relationship with Ilana Kloss, former professional tennis player.

King has residences in New York and Chicago with her life partner, Ilana Kloss.
Stern, Keith (2009-09-01). Queers in History: The Comprehensive Encyclopedia of Historical Gays, Lesbians and Bisexuals (Kindle Locations 6979-6986). Perseus Books Group. Kindle Edition.

Further Readings:

Game, Set, Match: Billie Jean King and the Revolution in Women's Sports by Susan Ware
Hardcover: 296 pages
Publisher: The University of North Carolina Press (February 3, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0807834548
ISBN-13: 978-0807834541
Amazon: Game, Set, Match: Billie Jean King and the Revolution in Women's Sports

When Billie Jean King trounced Bobby Riggs in tennis's Battle of the Sexes in 1973, she placed sports squarely at the center of a national debate about gender equity. In this winning combination of biography and history, Susan Ware argues that King's challenge to sexism, the supportive climate of second-wave feminism, and the legislative clout of Title IX sparked a women's sports revolution in the 1970s that fundamentally reshaped American society. While King did not single-handedly cause the revolution in women's sports, she quickly became one of its most enduring symbols, as did Title IX, a federal law that was initially passed in 1972 to attack sex discrimination in educational institutions but had its greatest impact by opening opportunities for women in sports. King's place in tennis history is secure, and now, with Game, Set, Match, she can take her rightful place as a key player in the history of feminism as well. By linking the stories of King and Title IX, Ware explains why women's sports took off in the 1970s and demonstrates how giving women a sporting chance has permanently changed American life on and off the playing field.

More Real Life Romances at my website: http://www.elisarolle.com/, My Ramblings/Real Life Romance

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