Ashe, Arthur

Ashe, Arthur (Robert)

(1943–93) tennis player, author; born in Richmond, Va. He was the first black player ever to win the U.S. championship (1968), the Davis Cup (1968–70), the Australian Open (1970), and Wimbledon (1975). While actively protesting apartheid in South Africa, he was granted a visa in 1973 to become the first black professional to play in that country. He retired from competition after suffering a heart attack in 1979. He wrote a three-volume history of African-American athletes in the U.S.A., A Hard Road to Glory (1988). He became a spokesperson for AIDS education after it was revealed in 1992 that he had contracted the AIDS virus from a blood transfusion.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.
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