Althea Gibson

Sport: Tennis
Years: 1950-1958
Way before Venus or Serena hopped on the scene, there was Althea Gibson. She was the first black woman to compete on the world tennis tour and the first to win a Grand Slam (1956). Throughout the 1950s she ranked among the top players in the world, winning six Grand Slam singles titles. After retirement, she began her political career when she was appointed New Jersey state commissioner of athletics in 1975. This would eventually lead to her challenging Democrat Frank J.Dodd for his seat on the New Jersey state senate in the 1977 primary election. Gibson finished second behind Dodd, and would continue to serve as the New Jersey state commissioner of athletics before taking a position on the governor's council on physical fitness. Sounds like the lady had a passion for sports that extended way beyond the court. That sure is more than we can say for some athletes of today.