Billie Jean King, reacting to Long Beach Main Library being named after her, compares feeling to receiving Medal of Freedom

Published to Press-Telegram on August 6, 2019

Billie Jean King is accustomed to accolades.

The tennis legend, and women’s- and LGBT-rights activist, has the National Tennis Center named after her. She’s received the Arthur Ashe Courage Award for championing equality. And in 2009, former President Barack Obama placed the Presidential Medal of Freedom around her neck.

But, the way King tells it, one recent honor is at least on par with those: The Long Beach City Council’s decision late last month to name its new library, set to open September in the Civic Center, the Billie Jean King Main Library.

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