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October 19, 2018 – January 27, 2019

Special photo exhibition celebrates social justice pioneer and sports icon


On view October 19, 2018 – January 27, 2019


Billie Jean King: The Road to 75 celebrates Billie Jean King on the occasion of her 75th birthday through more than 75 unique photographs depicting her remarkable life and career. A sports icon as well as a lifelong advocate for gender equality and social justice, King lobbied for and obtained equal prize money for women at the US Open in 1973. She is renowned for her celebrated win over Bobby Riggs in the “Battle of the Sexes” match on September 20, 1973, and has won an incredible 39 Grand Slams. New-York Historical is home to Billie Jean King’s archive, which she donated in 2016.

The photographs on view span Billie Jean King’s tennis career and activism, including iconic moments such as:

  • Billie Jean King as one of nine women tennis players who signed a $1 contract with Gladys Heldman, publisher of World Tennis Magazine, in 1970;
  • King making a grand entrance into the Houston Astrodome before playing Bobby Riggs in the “Battle of the Sexes” match;
  • King testifying at the Senate Hearings for the Women’s Education Equity Act in 1973;
  • and King participating as one of the Grand Marshals for the 49th NYC Pride March in 2018, with a rainbow umbrella and sash.


The exhibition is co-curated by Helen R. Russell, researcher, Billie Jean King Enterprises; and Marilyn Satin Kushner, curator and head, Department of Prints, Photographs, and Architectural Collections, New-York Historical Society.


The New-York Historical Society, one of America’s preeminent cultural institutions, is dedicated to fostering research and presenting history and art exhibitions and public programs that reveal the dynamism of history and its influence on the world of today. Founded in 1804, New-York Historical has a mission to explore the richly layered history of New York City and State and the country, and to serve as a national forum for the discussion of issues surrounding the making and meaning of history.


Marybeth Ihle: (212) 873-3400 x326 / marybeth.ihle@nyhistory.org
Julia Esposito: (212) 715-1643 / julia.esposito@finnpartners.com

IMAGE CAPTION: Billie Jean King, ca. 1973. ©AELTC/Michael Cole

Thursday, September 6, 2018
Creative: Tronvig Group