Sometimes known as “the Jackie Robinson of tennis,” Gibson’s ascent to the top of the tennis world was as impressive as it was unlikely. Growing up poor in Harlem, she learned the game under the tutelage of New York Police Athletic League coaches. She won her first American Tennis Association tournament as a teenager in 1942, and in 1950, despite fierce opposition to her entry in the event, she became the first black player to pace the hallowed baselines at Wimbledon. In 1957, she became the first African-American to win tournaments both there and at the U.S. Open, accomplishments that netted her the Associated Press’ Female Athlete of the Year honors. In addition to winning 11 major titles, Gibson later became a successful professional golfer.