Arthur Ashe

Arthur Ashe was born in Richmond, July 10, 1943, and died in New York, February 6, 1993.

Winner of three Grand Slams, including the 1975 Wimbledon, Ashe is also remembered for his great contributions to volunteerism and helping those in need.

Ashe began to attract the attention of tennis fans after he won a tennis award at UCLA in 1963; that same year he became the first African-American to be selected to play on the US Davis Cup team.

In 1965 Ashe won the NCAA individual title and was a major contributor to UCLA winning the NCAA team title. With this successful college career, Ashe easily rose to be considered one of the best players in the entire world, thanks in part to his transition to the pros in 1969.

As of 1969, it was generally believed that Ashe was the best male player in the United States. He won the first US Open of the open era and helped the US win the Davis Cup that same year. Since pro tennis was not receiving media attention commensurate with the growing popularity of the sport in general, Ashe was one of the key figures in founding the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP).

Ashe played for a few more years, but, after suffering a heart attack in 1979, he retired in 1980. In 1983 Ashe suffered a second heart attack.

Ashe's life took a tragic turn in 1988 when he discovered he had contracted the HIV virus during a blood transfusion received during one of the two heart operations he underwent. He and his wife kept news of the illness a secret until April 8, 1992, when USA Today reported his serious health.

Ashe died of complications from AIDS on February 6, 1993.