Today in History: Althea Gibson becomes first African-American on US Tennis Tour

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Today in History: Althea Gibson becomes first African-American on US Tennis Tour
Althea Gibson, player from Florida A&M College, is shown in action at the U.S. Lawn Tennis Association Clay Courts championships in River Forest, Illinois, July 18, 1950. (AP Photo)
Undated and unlocated picture of US tennis player Althea Gibson returning a backhand. Gibson won the Roland Garros championships in 1956 and Wimbledon in 1957 and 1958. (Photo credit should read AFP/AFP/Getty Images)
Tennis player Althea Gibson, of Sumter, South Carolina, is shown before a practice session at the West Side Tennis Club at Forest Hills, Queens, New York, July 29, 1950. (AP Photo/John Lent)
Undated and unlocated picture of US tennis player Althea Gibson returning a backhand. Gibson won the Roland Garros championships in 1956 and Wimbledon in 1957 and 1958. (Photo credit should read AFP/AFP/Getty Images)
American athlete Althea Gibson returns to Germany's Edda Buding in the first round of Wimbledon on June 26, 1956. (AP Photo)
Althea Gibson, of New York City, slides under the net to return the ball during semi-finals of the women's doubles at the All-England Lawn Tennis Club in Wimbledon, England, July 6, 1956. Britain's Angela Buxton and Gibson defeated Louis Brough, of Beverly Hills, Ca., and Shirley Fry of St. Petersburg, Fla., 7-5, 6-4. (AP Photo)
The Duchess of Kent, center, presents the trophy for the Ladies' Doubles title to Angela Buxton, left, and Althea Gibson, right, following their victory at Wimbledon, England, July 7, 1956. They defeated the Australian team of Fay Muller and Daphne Seeney, 6-1, 8-6. (AP Photo)
A portrait of Althea Gibson holding a tennis racket, 1956. (Photo by Fred Palumbo/Underwood Archives/Getty Images)
Althea Gibson of New York reaches high for a shot during Women's Singles Semifinal match against Christine Truman of England in All England Lawn Tennis Championships at Wimbledon, England, July 4,1957. Miss Gibson won 6-1,6-1 to advance to the finals against Darlene Hard of Montebello, California. (AP Photo)
New York's Althea Gibson poises for a return volley during the Semi Final Women's Singles Match with Britain's Christine Truman in the All England Tennis Championship at Wimbledon, Eng., July 4, 1957. Miss Gibson overpowered the 16 year Truman 6-1, 6-1 to enter the final against Darlene Hard. (AP Photo)
Wimbledon champion Althea Gibson of New York City shows the winning form that helped her capture the U.S. National Tennis Championships at Forest Hills, N.Y., Sept. 8, 1957, as she goes after a return by Louise Brough of Beverly Hills, far court. (AP Photo/Harry Harris)
FILE - In this July 6, 1957 file photo, Althea Gibson, of New York City, holds the women's singles tennis trophy at Wimbledon, England, while being kissed by her finals opponent, Darlene Hard, of Montebello, Calif. Gibson, who became the first African-American to win a Wimbledon championship, was among the more than a million black people who weren’t counted in the 1940 census. There is no record of Gibson and her family in the decennial census, the records of which were released online to the public by the U.S. Census Bureau on April 2 after a 72-year confidentiality period lapsed. (AP Photo, File)
UNITED STATES - JULY 11: Althea Gibson, the tennis star, gives Mayor Wagner a few pointers as she's welcomed home after her great play abroad. Bertram Baker of American Tennis Association looks on. The welcoming ceremony was held at City Hall. (Photo by Al Pucci/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)
6th July 1957: American tennis partners Althea Gibson (right) and Darlene Hard with the women's doubles trophy at the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships. Gibson is the first black woman to win the women's singles championships at Wimbledon. (Photo by Reg Birkett/Keystone/Getty Images)
Family reunion. Althea Gibson holds glass of milk as she talks with her parents, Mr. and Mrs. David Gibson, in their home at 135 W. 143d St. New York. (Photo By: John Duprey/NY Daily News via Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - JULY 11: Tennis ace Althea Gibson blows kisses to cheering crowd at 1957 Broadway parade in her honor. Born in South Carolina in 1927. Gibson became the first black American to win a Grand Slam tournament, the French Open in 1956. She went on to win Wimbledon and the U.S. Championship at Forest Hills. (Photo by Phil Greitzer/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - SEPTEMBER 07: Wimbledon champ Althea Gibson takes long stride towards capturing first U. S. single crown by employing backhand in match with Mrs. Dorothy Head Knode at Forest Hills. Miss Gibson eliminated Mrs. Knode, 6-3, 6-4., (Photo by Charles Payne/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)
American tennis player Althea Gibson holding the women's singles trophy aloft after beating Angela Mortimer of Great Britain in the final at the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships. (Photo by ullstein bild/ullstein bild via Getty Images)
(GERMANY OUT) Tennisspielerin, USA- Spielstudie1959 (Photo by ullstein bild/ullstein bild via Getty Images)
Tennis player Althea Gibson with Major Sidney Glover (left) and Colonel Edwin Adams of the 369th AAA, 1963. (Photo by Afro American Newspapers/Gado/Getty Images)
Tennis player Althea Gibson in formal dress at the Waldof-Astoria hotel, New York, Nevada, 1963. (Photo by Afro American Newspapers/Gado/Getty Images)
New York's Althea Gibson and Australia's Mal Anderson hold prize trophies after their victories in National Tennis Championships at Forest Hills, N.Y., Sept. 8, 1957. Miss Gibson became the first African American to win in the Nationals by defeating Louise Brough of Beverly Hills, Calif., 6-3, 6-2. (AP Photo/Harry Harris)
Tennis star, Althea Gibson poses at the 369th regiment Armory in New York City, Jan. 8, 1958. (AP Photo/John Rooney)
Althea Gibson, left, and Karol Fageros are shown in New York, Oct. 19, 1959 where they signed a professional contract with the Harlem Globetrotters. Beginning Dec. 29 both women will make a nationwide tour with the Globetrotters playing exhibition matches prior to Globetrotter games. (AP Photo/Harry Harris)
Althea Gibson, is shown in New York City, Dec. 12, 1963, after she signed a contract as a golf pro with Dunlop. (AP Photo/Harry Harris)
Althea Gibson is shown in her East Orange, N.J. home in 1968. (AP Photo/Marty Lederhandler)
Althea Gibson, former international tennis star, lines up a putting shot on the sixth green of the Pleasant Valley Country Club in Sutton, Mass., Aug. 6, 1966, where she shot a six under par 68 in the first round for a women's course record. (AP Photo/Bill Chaplis)
Former tennis star Althea Gibson is seen in her East Orange, N.J. apartment during an interview, Dec. 21, 1968. (AP Photo/Marty Lederhandler)
Tennis pro Althea Gibson and actor Charlton Heston at cocktail party in the Rainbow Room. (Photo By: Charles Ruppmann/NY Daily News via Getty Images)
EAST ORANGE, NJ - JUNE 12: ***EXCLUSIVE*** Tennis legend Althea Gibson poses for a portrait at her home surrounded by her trophies June 12, 1987 in East Orange, NJ. (Photo by Yvonne Hemsey/Getty Images)
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Though she may not be a household name, Althea Gibson broke barriers in professional sports. She was the first African-American tennis player to compete on the US Tennis Tour, and after her tennis career was over, she took her talents to the other greens, where she became the first black woman to ever compete on the pro golf tour.

On this day in 1950, Gibson made history by competing in the annual tournament at Forrest Hills, NY.

Take a stroll through the best photos of Gibson, and watch the video below for even more information on the icon.
A Biography of Althea Gibson

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