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

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Althea Gibson
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Today in History: Althea Gibson becomes first African-American on US Tennis Tour
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)
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)
A portrait of Althea Gibson holding a tennis racket, 1956. (Photo by Fred Palumbo/Underwood Archives/Getty Images)
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)
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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