What you should know about tennis champ Billie Jean King

By CNN Staff

Published November 22, 2019

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Tennis champion and LGBTQ advocate Billie Jean King is celebrating her 76th birthday today, Nov. 22.

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Here’s a look at the icon’s life and the lasting impact of her activism.

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King has won 39 Grand Slam championships overall in singles, doubles and mixed doubles.

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She is the founder and first president of the Women's Tennis Association, which was established in 1973.

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King threatened to boycott the 1973 US Open over prize money equality. It was the first major tournament to give equal prize money to men and women.

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King's fight for equal pay in Grand Slams took 34 years to reach fruition when Wimbledon became the last of the four to fall in line.

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At 29, King won the “Battle of the Sexes” match against 55-year-old Bobby Riggs, taking home $100,000.

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She remained friends with Riggs until his death in 1995 of prostate cancer.

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The 2017 film "Battle of the Sexes" starring Emma Stone and Steve Carell portrayed the highly watched sporting event.

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King became one of the first professional female athletes to come out as a lesbian after a palimony suit was filed against her in 1981.

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King retired from professional tennis in 1984, but she continues to speak out about gender inequality in sports.

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