This Day in Black History: July 10, 1943

Arthur Ashe

This Day in Black History: July 10, 1943

Tennis champion Arthur Ashe was born in Richmond, Virginia, on July 10, 1943.

Published July 10, 2014

(Photo: David Ashdown/Keystone/Getty Images)

Arthur Ashe, a former world No. 1 tennis player and humanitarian, was born in Richmond, Virginia, on July 10, 1943. Ashe began his career on the tennis courts of his hometown. After he graduated from high school, he honed his skills with a tennis scholarship at the University of California, Los Angeles. He rose to national attention as he won NCAA championships in 1965. 

Throughout his career, Ashe faced adversity because of his skin color. He applied for a visa to play with the United States in the Davis Cup, but was denied. He bravely demanded that South Africa be banned from the competition, a move that brought awareness to the country's racist apartheid laws. 

Before Ashe retired in 1980, he had won three Grand Slam singles and had over 800 career victories.

Perhaps one of his biggest battles in life came after his tennis career, when he told the world that he was HIV-positive in 1992. He contracted the disease after a tainted blood transfusion during a heart surgery in 1983. Before his death on Feb. 6, 1993, Ashe became committed to bringing awareness to HIV/AIDS. 

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Written by Natelege Whaley


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