Today in History: Billie Jean King triumphs in Battle of Sexes

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Today in History: Billie Jean King triumphs in Battle of Sexes
18 year old American Billie Jean Moffitt returns a low ball against No.1 seed Australian Margaret Smith during their match on Centre Court at Wimbledon. The tournament was shocked as Moffitt beat the odds on favourite 1-6, 6-3, 7-5. (Photo via PA)
Billie Jean Moffittt (King), left, 18 of Long Beach, Calif., and Margaret Smith of Australia pose after Miss Moffitt (King) eliminated the top seeded Miss Smith on June 26, 1962 in one of the biggest upsets of the Wimbledon Tennis Championship. Miss Moffitt (King) won the opening day match 1-6, 6-3, 7-5. (AP Photo)
Billie Jean Moffitt King, of Long Beach, Calif., smashes a return at rival Carol Caldwell, Santa Monica, California, during third round singles match in All England Tennis Championships at Wimbledon, London on June 28, 1962. Miss Moffitt, who ousted top-seeded Margaret Smith of Australia from tournament, beat Miss Calwell, 7-5, 6-3. (AP Photo)
Billie Jean Moffit, 21, and Larry William King, 20, leave First Church of the Brethern in Long Beach, Ca., after their marriage on Sept. 17, 1965. The bride, Billie Jean King, is the second ranking woman tennis player in the U.S. and three times doubles champion at Wimbledon. King is a pre-law student at Los Angeles State College. (AP Photo)
Billie Jean King of Long Beach, Ca., is shown in action as she is about to return the ball to Britain's Virginia Wade in the Wightman Cup Tennis tournament in Wimbledon, England on June 10, 1966. King won the match, 6-2, 6-3. (AP Photo)
Billie Jean King, of Long Beach, Ca., U.S.A., is presented with the Wimbledon Plate from H.R.H. Princess Marina, Duchess of Kent, after winning the women's singles final match at the All-England Lawn Tennis club championships at Wimbledon, England, July 2, 1966. King defeated Brazil's Maria Bueno, 6-3, 3-6, 6-1. (AP Photo)
Ms. Billie Jean King of Long Beach, California, holds up the Wimbledon plate, after defeating Maria Bueno of Brazil, in their Womenâs singles final match at the All England Club Lawn Tennis Championships in Wimbledon, London, England on Saturday, July 2, 1966, 6-3, 3-6, 6-1. (AP Photo)
Billie Jean King of Long Beach, Calif., hitting the ball on court March 23, 1967, in the South Africa tennis championships at Johannesburg. Mrs. King went on to win the match 6-4, 6-3 over Mrs. Joan Johnson of South Africa. (AP Photo)
Billie Jean King, of Long Beach, Calif., holds the three trophies she won at Wimbledon, July 8, 1967 at the All-England Lawn Tennis Championships. Mrs. King won the Womenís Singles by defeating Britainís Ann Jones 6-3, 6-4; partnered Rosemary Casals, of Seal Beach, Calif., to win the ladies doubles from Maria Bueno, of Brazil and Nancy Richey, of United States, 9-11, 6-4, 6-2, and partnered Australian Owen Davidson to win the mixed doubles from K. Fletcher of Australia and Miss Maria Bueno of Brazil 7-5, 6-2. It is the first Wimbledon women hat trick since Doris Hart, also of the United States, did it in 1951. (AP Photo/Bob Dear)
American tennis player Billie Jean King is seen in play during the women's singles at the All England Lawn Tennis Championships at Wimbledon in London on July 8, 1967. King defeated her opponent Anne Jones of Britain. (AP Photo)
Mrs. Billie Jean King of Long Beach, Calif., triple winner in the Wimbledon tennis championships in England the week of July 3-8, is shown with her husband, Larry at London airport prior to flying on July 10, 1967 to New York. (AP Photo)
Billie Jean King of Long Beach, Calif., and John Newcombe of Australia smilingly hold their trophies after winning the womenâs and menâs singles titles of the U.S. Tennis Championships at Forest Hills, New York on Sept. 10, 1967. Mrs. King beat Mrs. Ann Haydon Jones of Britain 11-9, 6-4 in the finals. Newcombe won the cup after defeating Clark Graebner of the U.S. 6-4, 6-4, 8-6. (AP Photo)
Billie Jean King, Queen of Amateur Tennis, poses in New York City on March 19, 1968 with âBabeâ Didrickson Zaharias trophies presented her as âoutstanding woman athlete of the year.â Mrs. King, holder of the Wimbledon, U.S. and Australian Tennis Titles, was presented the award by George Zaharias, its donor, and widower of the great woman athlete for whom the Award is named. Large trophy at left is perpetual and given each year to the winner, and the smaller trophy is permanently presented to the recipient. (AP Photo)
U.S. tennis player Billie Jean King returns the ball to volley against Ann Haydon Jones during the Women singles match of the All England Lawn Championships at Wimbledon in London on July 4, 1968. (AP Photo)
Billie Jean King of Long Beach, Calif., dives for a hit from Linda Tuero of Metaire, La., in the Womenâs finals of the National Clay Court Open tennis championships in Indianapolis, Indiana on August 15, 1971. Mrs. King, who has won over $70,000 on the tour, downed the 1970 winner in straight sets. Mrs. King, 27, has won every major womenâs championship in tennis. It was her first appearance at the National Clay Court Open. (AP Photo)
Billie Jean King wears a crown adorned with tennis balls at a news conference in New York City on Oct. 4, 1971. King celebrates being the first woman tennis player to win $100,000 in a season. (AP Photo)
Billie Jean King of the United States raises the Womenâs Singles trophy on July 7, 1972 after her finals win against Evonne Goolagong of Australia 6-3, 6-3. It was the fourth time that Mrs. King had won the trophy. (AP Photo/Peter Kemp)
Mrs. Billie Jean King, left, of Long Beach, California, flashes her victory smile after taking the womenâs singles title at Wimbledon, England on July 7, 1972, from defending champion Evonne Goolagong, right, of Australia. Mrs. King won the title for the fourth time. Sets were 6-3, 6-3. (AP Photo)
Mrs. Billie Jean King, Long Beach, Calif., the Wimbledon's champion, who confirmed last night that there will be no women's boycott of Wimbledon, stretches out on a seat on June 22, 1973 in Kensington Gardens, London after a long night of debate. She is wearing the new fashion in Dacron designed for her for 1973 by Ted Tinling. (AP Photo)
Wimbledon champion Billie Jean King checks the muscle on her nemesis, Bobby Riggs, in New York, July 11, 1973. King and Riggs announced they will meet in a $100,000 tennis grudge match like the one in which Riggs bested Margaret Court earlier this year. Time and place is yet to be announced. Mrs. King is 26 years younger than Riggs. (AP Photo/Anthony Camerano)
Billie Jean King is shown during the âBattle of the Sexesâ tennis match against Bobby Riggs, the 55-year-old veteran at the Houston Astrodome in Houston, Texas, Sept. 20, 1973. (AP Photo)
Billie Jean King holds the winnerâs trophy high in the air after she defeated Bobby Riggs in the $100,000 winner-take-all tennis championship in the Astrodome in Houston, Texas on Sept. 20, 1973. Ms. King set Riggs down 6-4; 6-3; 6-3. (AP Photo)
Tennis Star Billie Jean King carried her battle for sexual Equality before the Senate education subcommittee Friday, Nov 9,1973 in Washington. She described some of her hurdles she said she had to overcome because of a discriminatory educational system. She was testifying in favor of an educational equity act which would provide grants for activities to promote educational equity. (AP Photo)
Billie Jean King is seen, 1974. (AP Photo)
Billie Jean King of the New York Sets, goes high in the air to return the ball in the feature match of the World Team Tennis All-Star play Saturday, July 13, 1975. King was defeated 6-4 by Francoise Durr of Phoenix Racquets playing for the West. (AP Photo/HF)
American Billie Jean King, in play against Wendy Turnbull of Australia, in the Wimbledon Ladies Singles championship play on June 29, 1982. King beat Turnbull 6-2, 6-2. (AP Photo/Bob Dear)
Billie Jean King keeps her eye on the ball before returning it to her opponent during the Virginia Slims Tennis Tournament at the Walter Brown Arena in Boston, Ma. on March 18, 1983. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)
Billie Jean King wears a beaming smile, after defeating fellow American Kathy Jordan, in their ladies Singles quarter-final match on Wimbledonâs Number One Court on Tuesday, June 28, 1983. Billie Jean won the match 7-5; 6-4 to reach the semi-final of the tournament. (AP Photo)
Her tongue between her teeth, Billie Jean King reaches out for a shot from fellow American Kathy Jordan, during their Ladies Singles quarter-final match on Wimbledonâs Number One court on Tuesday, June 28, 1983. Billie Jean won the match 7-5; 6-4, to reach the semi-finals of the tournament. (AP Photo)
Tennis great Billie Jean King puts on a silly face for photographers Thursday, May 14, 1987 in Boston as she poses with a tennis racket and one of her old tennis dress during a luncheon in honor of her upcoming induction into the International Tennis Hall of Fame on July 18, in Newport, R.I.. (AP Photo/Carol Francavilla)
U.S. tennis players (l-r) Mary Joe Fernandez, Gigi Fernandez, Jennifer Capriati and their coach Billie Jean King pose for photographers Friday, April 26, 1996 after the draw for the Federation Cup against the Austrian tennis ladies which will start in Salzburg, Austria on Saturday. In the opening match Mary Joe Fernandez will meet Austrian Judith Wiesner. (AP Photo/Franz Neumayr)
U.S. Fed Cup coach Billie Jean King cheers on Venus Williams during the third set of her match with Elena Dementieva of Russia in the finals at Stanford University in Palo Alto, Calif., Sunday Sept. 19, 1999. Dementieva overcame a 4-1 deficit in the third set and defeated Williams 1-6, 6-3, 7-6 (7-5) to prevent the United States from sweeping the event. (AP Photo/Randi Lynn Beach)
Tennis greats Billie Jean King, left, and Martina Navratilova pose together before the Sports Illustrated's 20th Century Sports Awards Thursday, Dec. 2, 1999, in New York. (AP Photo/Ron Frehm)
USA team captain Billie Jean King shouts advice to Meghann Shaughnessy during her Fed Cup match against Austria's Barbara Schwartz at the Olde Providence Raquet Club in Charlotte, N.C., Sunday April 28, 2002. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton)
** ADVANCE FOR WEEKEND EDITONS, APRIL 22-23 ** FILE ** Chris Evert, left, Martina Navratilova, second from left, Martina Hingis, third from left, Lindsay Davenport, fourth from left, Jennifer Capriati and several other former number-one players of the WTA Tour Championships watch as Billie Jean King is introduced in thisNov. 9, 2003 photo, at Staples Center in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Ric Francis)
Andy Roddick, left, and Sir Elton John, center, get directions from Billie Jean King, right, during the annual charity tennis event benefiting the Elton John AIDS foundation Monday, Nov. 7, 2005, in Hershey, Pa. (AP Photo/Bradley C Bower)
U.S Olympic gold medal soccer champion Kristine Lilly, left, and tennis legend Billie Jean King are interviewed at the premiere of the HBO sports documentary "Dare to Dream", Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2005, in New York. ( AP Photo/ Louis Lanzano)
Billie Jean King gestures as she describes her feelings after being informed that the U.S. Tennis Association is renaming the USTA National Tennis Center the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center during a news conference, Thursday, Aug. 3, 2006 in the Queens borough of New York. King, the only woman to win U.S. singles titles on all four surfaces, grass, clay, carpet and hard won a record 20 Wimbledon titles and four U.S. Open championships. She also beat Bobby Riggs in a televised showdown billed as "The Battle of the Sexes" in 1973 _ a triumph that brought attention to women's sports.(AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)
Billie Jean King gestures during the dedication ceremony for the USTA National Tennis Center, re-named in her honor, at the US Open tennis tournament in New York, Monday, Aug. 28, 2006. (AP Photo/Ann Heisenfelt)
Former tennis great Billie Jean King smiles beside United States Tennis Associaton CEO for Professional Tennis Arlen Kantarian after the unveiling of the first "USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center" sign pior to the first match at the US Open tennis tournament in New York, Monday Aug. 28, 2006. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)
Tennis great Billie Jean King, wearing an outfit by designer Gustavo Cadile, walks the runway during the Red Dress Heart Truth fashion show during Fashion Week in New York, Friday Feb. 2, 2007. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)
Tennis great Billie Jean King is introduced during a town hall conversation hosted by the group Women for Hillary Monday, June 4, 2007 in New York. (AP Photo/Jason DeCrow)
Tennis legend Billie Jean King speaks during a campaign rally for Democratic Presidential hopeful, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton in downtown Washington, Wednesday, June 6, 2007. Sen. Clinton launched 'Club 44', an event to reach out to young women. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
President Barack Obama presents the 2009 Presidential Medal of Freedom to Billie Jean King, known for winning the famous "Battle of the Sexes" tennis match, and championing gender equality issues during ceremonies at the White House in Washington, Wednesday, Aug. 12, 2009. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
Billie Jean King attends the premiere of a Netflix original series "Lilyhammer" at the Crosby Street Hotel on Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2012 in New York. (AP Photo/Evan Agostini)
Billie Jean King attends LoveGold/EJAF Celebrate "How to Survive a Plague" at Chateau Marmont on February 22, 2013 in Los Angeles. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision for LoveGold/AP Images)
Former Tennis Player Billie Jean King attends the Venus and Serena Special Screening at the IFC Center on Thursday, May 2, 2013 in New York.(Photo by Brad Barket/Invision/AP)
Former professional tennis champion Billie Jean King and Ilana Kloss at the premier of Battle of the Sexes in London Wednesday June 26 2013. (Photo by Jon Furniss/Invision/AP)
Tennis champion Billie Jean King smiles as she receives the Centennial Award from the Girl Scouts of Eastern Pennsylvania during a ceremony in Philadelphia on Wednesday, May 6, 2015. The award, presented every three years, recognizes an accomplished female leader. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
Winner of 39 Grand Slam titles, tennis pro Billie Jean King poses for a portrait on Thursday, June 4, 2015. (Photo by Scott Gries/Invision/AP)

Forty-two years ago today, Billie Jean King defeated Bobby Riggs in Houston, Texas. In what was nationally marketed as The Battle of the Sexes, Riggs boasted that he could take on the best of all female tennis players, and encouraged King to accept a lucrative offer to take him on in a best-of-three-set match.

She accepted, with the winner taking home $100,000. Attendance at the Houston Astrodome reached more than 30,000 -- still the largest-ever tennis attendance. Roughly 90 million viewers tuned in to watch the match on television. After three sets, the match was won. King hammered home her sixth game won, to Riggs' three, and she came away victorious.

Click through the gallery above for photos of King's career, and be sure to watch the video below from this month, when she joined AOL BUILD for a very special event.

Billie Jean King Talks About Her Prolific Career and AFib
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