Happy Birthday to my friend, Arthur Ashe!

 

 

 

Arthur Ashe was born today on July 10, 1943. He won three Grand Slam Titles: 1968 US Open, 1970 Australian open, and the 1975 Wimbledon title. He was the first African American male to win a major title, and the only African American male to win the US, Australian, and Wimbledon Open.

Ashe was also an outspoken civil rights activist, speaking out against South Africa’s apartheid system as well as more local outrages against civil rights. He produced Hard Road to Glory, the first “complete” book on Blacks in sports.

In the early 1980s, Ashe contracted HIV from a blood transfusion he received during heart bypass surgery. Ashe publicly announced his illness in April 1992 and began working to educate others about HIV and AIDS. He founded the Arthur Ashe Foundation for the Defeat of AIDS and the Arthur Ashe Institute for Urban Health before his death from AIDS-related pneumonia on February 6, 1993. On June 20, 1993, Ashe was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

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