NEW YORK, NY, USA - At a ceremony at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on Friday, the US Postal Service unveiled a commemorative stamp in honor of tennis legend Althea Gibson.
Notable speakers - including WTA legends Billie Jean King, Katrina Adams and Chanda Rubin, as well as William Campbell, Judicial Officer of the US Postal Service - helped announce the new Althea Gibson Forever postage stamp, the 36th stamp in the US Postal Service's Black Heritage series.
Gibson helped integrate her sport at the height of the civil rights movement, winning five Grand Slam titles in the 1950s and blazing a trail for a future generation of African-American tennis players like Arthur Ashe and the Williams sisters. Additionally, she served as New Jersey's commissioner of athletics from 1975 to 1985. She passed away in East Orange, New Jersey in 2003, at the age of 76.
"I'm excited that the United States Postal Service is releasing a Forever stamp that honors the legacy of my friend, Althea Gibson," Billie Jean King, who founded the WTA, said. "Her achievements served as a catalyst for equality in sports and in life and I am honored to participate in this historic event."
Gibson is the first female athlete honored in the Black Heritage stamp series. The Althea Gibson stamp is based on a photo taken at Wimbledon of Gibson reaching down to hit a low forehand volley.
The Althea Gibson stamp is a Forever stamp, issued in self-adhesive sheets of 20. The Althea Gibson stamp is available nationwide as of today, and orders may be placed through www.usps.com/stamps.