13 Reasons To Be Thankful For The Existence Of Billie Jean King

The most iconic woman in tennis turned 70 in November.

1. She dominated the game of tennis for more than a decade, earning 39 Grand Slam tennis titles.

2. She has all the style and grace that anyone could hope to exude.

3. And she knows how to rock a pair of glasses quite flawlessly.

David M. Benett / WireImage


4. She has dedicated her life to fighting for gender equality in sports, and wasn’t shy about speaking on the topic.

AP Photo/File

5. King, along with a group of other female tennis stars dubbed “The Original 9” fought for equal prize money for men and women in tournaments.

A fight that Venus Williams took up at Wimbledon.


6. She was challenged by tennis champ Bobby Riggs in the 1973 “Battle Of The Sexes.”

The event became a national spectacle, with a worldwide television audience of some 50 million viewers.

worldwide television audience of some 50 million,


7. Even after her retirement, King didn’t stop championing for the causes she believes in.

She was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Barack Obama in 2009.

Elsa / Getty Images

8. She founded the Womens Sports Foundation in 1974, which to this day continues to ensure that the future of women’s sports is a bright one .

Michael Loccisano / Getty Images for the Women’s Sports Foundation

9. She obviously hangs out with the coolest people around.


10. Take a moment, and be thankful, for this photo of her and an over-sized glass of champagne.

Brad Barket / Getty Images for Moet & Chandon

11. King reminded athletes that “pressure is a privilege.”

12. She paved the way for female athletes today.

Clive Brunskill / Getty Images

Matthew Stockman / Getty Images


13. There is no doubt that she will continue to inspire the world, with both her words and actions, for a long time to come.

Happy Birthday to the lady, the myth, and the legend that is Billie Jean King.

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Sarah Karlan is the Deputy LGBT Editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
Contact Sarah Karlan at
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