Billie Jean King Net Worth: Born in the United States on November 22, 1943, Billie Jean King is a tennis legend. King won 39 Grand Slam tournaments, including 12 singles titles, 16 doubles win, and 11 mixed doubles titles. For the United States, King played a crucial role in seven Federation Cup and nine Wightman Cups victories. She led the United States for three consecutive years in the Federation Cup.
King has long been a leader in the fight for racial and gender equality and other forms of social justice. In 1973, at 29, she beat Bobby Riggs, then 55 years old, in a tennis match known as the “Battle of the Sexes.” The Women’s Tennis Association and the Women’s Sports Foundation were both established by King. She had a pivotal role in convincing Virginia Slims to become a sponsor of women’s tennis in the 1970s. She later joined the board of Philip Morris, the parent company of Virginia Slims.
Have a peek at:
Billie Jean King Net Worth
Billie Jean King is an American retired World No. 1 professional tennis player with a net worth of $20 million. Considered one of the best tennis players, King won 39 Grand Slam titles: 12 singles, 11 mixed doubles, and 16 women’s doubles. She also took the singles title at the inaugural WTA Tour Championships.
During her career, Billie Jean represented the U.S. in the Federation Cup and Wightman Cup several times, and she was a member of the U.S. team when it won nine Wightman Cups and seven Federation Cups. A vocal advocate for gender equality, 29-year-old King, won the so-called “Battle of the Sexes” tennis match against 55-year-old Bobby Riggs in 1973. Billie Jean founded the Women’s Sports Foundation and the Women’s Tennis Association and served as the U.S. captain in the Federation Cup for three years.
Billie Jean King Early Life
Born Billie Jean Moffitt on November 22, 1943, in Long Beach, California, Billie Jean King is a tennis legend. She was raised with her mother, Betty (a stay-at-home mom), father, Bill (a firefighter), and younger brother, Randy, in a devoutly Methodist family. At a young age, Billie Jean played shortstop for a team that went on to win the Long Beach softball title.
At age 11, after parental encouragement to participate in a more “ladylike” sport, she purchased her first tennis racket with the $8 she had saved. King received free tennis instruction from professional Clyde Walker on the public courts in Long Beach, one of which was eventually renamed the Billie Jean Moffitt King Tennis Center in her honor.
Billie Jean graduated from Long Beach Polytechnic High School and afterward transferred to Los Angeles State University (now known as California State University, Los Angeles). To pursue her tennis career, she dropped out of college in 1964. When King was a young adult, the minister at the Church of the Brethren her family attended, former Olympic champion Bob Richards, advised her to think about what she wanted to do with her life. In response, Billie Jean said, “Reverend, I am going to be the best tennis player in the world.”
Billie Jean King’s Personal Life
On September 17, 1965, Billie Jean wed Larry King, a lawyer. King had an affair with her assistant, Marilyn Barnett, after realizing a few years later that she had a crush on women. When asked to leave the Kings’ Malibu house in 1979, Marilyn threatened to release letters Billie Jean had written to her if she was evicted.
— Billie Jean King (@BillieJeanKing) December 12, 2022
When Barnett failed to disclose the information, he filed a lawsuit against the couple, seeking half of their salary and the couple’s Malibu property as compensation. In 1981, when Marilyn launched a palimony case against Billie Jean, the public learned about the relationship between King and Barnett, costing Billie Jean an estimated $2 million in endorsements. It turned out that the palimony suit was unfounded.
Without Billie Jean’s knowledge, Larry wrote about her abortion in a 1972 piece for “Ms.” magazine. In an interview published in 2018, King explained her decision “Makers,” she explained, “I wasn’t in a good place, which is why I had an abortion. I did not want to have a baby because I was still coming to terms with my sexual orientation, was still trying to sort out my life, was still trying to get the tour started.”
Larry King’s infatuation with Billie Jean’s doubles partner Ilana Kloss led to their 1987 divorce. Former New York City Mayor David Dinkins officiated their October 2018 wedding to Kloss.
View this post on Instagram
Billie Jean King Awards
King was honored as the AP Female Athlete of the Year in 1967 and made history as the first tennis player and female athlete to be selected “Sports Illustrated” Sportsman of the Year in 1972. She earned the Arthur Ashe Courage Award and was inducted into the Chicago Gay and Lesbian Hall of Fame in 1999; in 1990, she was named one of “Life” magazine’s “100 Most Important Americans of the 20th Century.” Billie Jean was awarded by the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) in 2000 for “advancing visibility and inclusiveness of the community in her work.”