Tennis legend Billie Jean King will be honored with the Smithsonian’s “Great Americans” medal at the National Museum of American History (Constitution Avenue N.W. between 12th and 14th Streets) on Tuesday, Sept. 25 at 7:30 p.m.
King, who hails from Long Beach, Calif., will receive the medal“ for lifetime contributions that embody American ideals and ideas.”
She will be interviewed on stage by David M. Rubenstein, chair of the Smithsonian Board of Regents, before being presented with the medal.
In 1973, at the age of 29, King defeated then 55-year-old Bobby Riggs during the historic “Battle of the Sexes” match. The dress she wore at the match is part of the Smithsonian’s collection and is on display at the Bullock Museum in Austin, Texas.
King’s other achievements include winning 39 Grand Slam titles, receiving the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2009 and being named one of the “100 Most Important Americans of the 20th Century” by Life magazine.
She is the founder of the Women’s Tennis Association and the Billie Jean King Leadership Initiative, a non-profit aimed at making leadership more inclusive, and is co-founder of TeamTennis, a mixed-gender professional tennis league.