Billie Jean King Receives Presidential Medal of Freedom

Published to the Washington Post on August 13, 2009

Billie Jean King bought her first tennis racket at age 11 with money earned from chores. At 23, she was ranked No. 1 in the world. And by the time she retired at 40, she had won 39 Grand Slam titles.

On Wednesday, King took her place alongside 15 other pioneering women and men in fields ranging from the arts and sciences to clergy and politics to receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor, in ceremonies at the White House.

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