This Day in Black History: May 26, 1956

Tennis legend Althea Gibson won the French Open.

Posted: 05/26/2013 07:00 AM EDT

On May 26, 1956, tennis legend Althea Gibson won the French Open championship, becoming the first African-American woman to win a major tennis championship. She is noted for breaking the color barrier in the sport and her accomplishments include winning the U.S. Open, Wimbledon and the Australian doubles during the 1950s.

Gibson also dabbled in golf, becoming the first African-American woman to join the Ladies Professional Golf Association tour in 1964. After retiring from golf in 1978, she taught as a tennis instructor. On Sept. 28, 2003, she passed away from illness at the age of 76.

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 (Photo: Keystone/Getty Images)

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