My hero Billie Jean King talks about her new autobiography ‘All In’ on “Good Morning America”
Billie Jean King is probably the public figure who has inspired me the most in my life. I read her autobiography Billie Jean when I was a kid and took from it so many lessons about fairness, equality, staying focused and making your dreams come true.
I’ve been able to interview her several times over the years and the very first time, I went on and on about how much that book meant to me. Billie said: “Oh, I hate that book.”
I now understand why. The book was published in 1982 and the tennis icon was not yet living an authentic life and was still married to a man named Larry King even though she had been publicly outed a few years before by an ex-girlfriend who tried to sue her.
Well now, all these years later, Billie Jean Moffitt King has lived another four decades and has come to fully accept herself. She’s been with life partner Ilanna Kloss for 42 years and they secretly got married in 2018.
So I, of course, am buying Billie Jean’s new memoir, All In, which is out today! It is the book that she always wanted to have but wasn’t ready before. It’s more than four years of work which is understandable because it has been such an epic life.
Billie Jean is not just a 20-time Wimbledon champion but winner of 39 grand slam titles in. all in singles, women’s doubles and mixed doubles. She’s also a former world number one in singles and doubles. While accomplishing all that on court, she led the effort to buck the tennis establishment and establish an independent women’s tennis tour where the athletes could make real money and chart their own futures.
Of course she also best Bobby Riggs in the legendary Battle of the Sexes match, founded the Women’s Tennis Association (players union), launched the Women’s Sports Foundation, co-founded World Team Tennis, and was a leader in the fight for the passage of Title IX which prohibits sex-based discrimination in any school or other education program that receives federal money.
So much life and still so active and engaged visible as an activist, as a co-owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers and so much more.
Earlier today, Billie Jean appeared on Good Morning America for a chat with Robin Roberts. One of my favorite parts is when they show a clip of Serena Williams telling the world what Billie Jean means to her and her sport.