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“G” is for Gibson, Althea

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“G” is for Gibson, Althea (1927-2003). Tennis champion. Born in Silver (Clarendon County), Gibson was the daughter of sharecroppers. The family moved to New York in 1930. Gibson was discovered at a local recreation facility and in a short time became a champion on the all-Black American Tennis Association (ATA) circuit. In 1947 she won the first of ten consecutive ATA championships. In 1950 Gibson became the first African American to play in the USLTA championship. In 1956 she won the French championship and in 1957 won Wimbledon and the US Open. She was ranked the number one player and named Female Athlete of the Year by the Associated Press. In 1958 Gibson successfully defended her titles. She retired from tennis in 1959 and became a professional golfer. From 1971 to 1992 Althea Gibson coached tennis.

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Dr. Walter Edgar has two programs on South Carolina Public Radio: Walter Edgar's Journal, and South Carolina from A to Z. Dr. Edgar received his B.A. degree from Davidson College in 1965 and his Ph.D. from the University of South Carolina in 1969. After two years in the army (including a tour of duty in Vietnam), he returned to USC as a post-doctoral fellow of the National Archives, assigned to the Papers of Henry Laurens.