Tennis Legend Billie Jean King Serves Up Althea Gibson Stamp At US Open’s Court of Champions Friday

2013 Black Heritage Series Honors First Black Wimbledon Champ

August 20, 2013 @USPS


Dedication of the new Althea Gibson Forever commemorative postage stamp, the 36th stamp in the U.S. Postal Service’s Black Heritage series.  



  • Billie Jean King – Sports icon and humanitarian
  • Katrina Adams –Vice President, USTA
  • Chanda Rubin, Director at Large, United States Tennis Association.
  • Judge William Campbell – Judicial Officer, US Postal Service


  • Lillian Chisholm (sister and estate holder)
  • Rosemarie Darben (sister-in-law and estate holder)
  • Francine Gray (Friends of Althea Gibson Director and estate holder)


Friday, August 23, 2013
10:00 a.m.


US Open’s Court of Champions at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center

A separate area for the sales of the Althea Gibson stamp will be located near the ceremony site, starting at 9 am on Friday.

Media is instructed to park somewhere within the US Open/Mets overflow paid parking lot(s)


The 36th stamp in the Black Heritage series honors Althea Gibson (1927–2003), a pioneering tennis player who became the first black Wimbledon champion. Gibson helped integrate her sport at the height of the civil rights movement.

She twice won Wimbledon -- in 1957 and 1958 -- and the U.S. Championships (now known as the U.S. Open), also in 1957 and 1958.    She blazed a trail for a future generation of African-American tennis players, such as Arthur Ashe and sisters Venus and Serena Williams. She served as New Jersey’s commissioner of athletics from 1975 to 1985 and died in East Orange NJ in 2003 at the age of 76.
Gibson is the first female athlete honored in the Postal Service’s Black Heritage stamp series, joining Jackie Robinson as a pioneer in sports.  The Althea Gibson stamp is based on a photograph—taken at Wimbledon—of Gibson reaching down to hit a low volley.

The Althea Gibson stamp is a Forever stamp, issued in self-adhesive sheets of 20.  The Althea Gibson stamp will be available nationwide beginning August 23.   


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