Named one of the “100 Most Important Americans of the 20th Century” by Life magazine and a 2009 recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, Billie Jean King is the founder of the Billie Jean King Leadership Initiative, founder of the Women’s Tennis Association and the Women’s Sports Foundation and part of the ownership group of the Los Angeles Dodgers, Los Angeles Sparks and Angel City FC. In September 2020, King became the first woman to have an annual global team sports event named in her honor when Fed Cup, the women’s world cup of tennis, was rebranded as the Billie Jean King Cup. The National Tennis Center, home of the US Open, was renamed the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in 2006 in honor of her accomplishments on and off the court. In 2017, Fox Searchlight released the critically acclaimed film, Battle of the Sexes, which depicts the cultural and social impact of the groundbreaking match. In 2018 King received a Lifetime Achievement Award as part of the prestigious BBC Sports Personality of the Year Awards, in 2019 King’s deep Southern California roots were recognized with the opening of the Billie Jean King Main Library in her hometown of Long Beach, California and in 2020 King was honored with the release of the Billie Jean King Barbie doll, part of Mattel’s Inspiring Women Series. King serves on the board of the Women’s Sports Foundation, is an adidas Global Ambassador and is a past member of the board of the Elton John AIDS Foundation and a past member of the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition. Her forthcoming memoir, ALL IN: An Autobiography, will be published by Knopf in August 2021.
King’s Los Angeles and baseball ties date to her childhood in Long Beach, where she grew up playing youth basketball and softball before taking up tennis at age 11. She graduated from Long Beach Polytechnic High School and also attended California State University, Los Angeles from 1961-64. King’s younger brother, Randy Moffitt, pitched in 12 Major League seasons with the Giants, Astros and Blue Jays from 1972-83.