Billie Jean King
Our most recent “Leading Unapologetically” speaker, Billie Jean King, is one of the most influential athletes of our times and has fought for equality on and off the tennis court. During her tennis career, King won 39 Grand Slam titles while lobbying for equal prize money in women’s and men’s games. She leveraged her position as an elite player to form the Women’s Tennis Association at the height of her competitive years in 1973. She also co-founded the inclusive World TeamTennis co-ed circuit and started the Women’s Sports Foundation, dedicated to creating leaders by providing girls access to sports.
She was elected to the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1987, and then later became the first woman to have a major sports venue named in her honor. In 2009, she was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the United States’ highest civilian honor, by President Barack Obama for her advocacy work on behalf of women and the LGBTQ community.
She founded the Billie Jean King Leadership Initiative, a non-profit dedicated to addressing the critical issues required to achieve diverse, inclusive leadership in the workforce, in 2014.
Her memoir, ALL IN: An Autobiography, was published by Knopf in August 2021. Her work helping others break through barriers continues today.