Skip to primary navigation Skip to content Skip to footer

The Insider's Connection

Great Athletes

Sports Pioneer: Althea Gibson

What makes a sports legend? What is the measure of a successful career? Why isn’t Althea Gibson a household name? Althea Gibson was born in South Carolina in 1927, where her parents worked on a cotton farm as sharecroppers. When Althea was 3, the Great Depression hit and the family moved to Harlem. Their apartment was on 143rd Street between Lenox and 7th, a designated Police Athletic Area, where traffic was blocked off so children could play organized sports throughout the day. It was on this very street that Althea mastered paddle tennis, becoming the NYC women’s champion by 12. She played in the American Tennis Association tournament at age 14. She won the New York State title and went on to compete on a national level, winning 10 consecutive titles after 1946. Her massive successes drew attention from people…

Read More »

March 18, 2019