American tennis playerDied when: 49 years 211 days (594 months)
Star Sign: Cancer
Arthur Robert Ashe Jr. (July 10, 1943 – February 6, 1993) was an American professional tennis player who won three Grand Slam singles titles.
He started to play tennis at six years old.He was the first black player selected to the United States Davis Cup team, and the only black man ever to win the singles title at Wimbledon, the US Open, and the Australian Open.
He retired in 1980.He was ranked world No. 1 by Rex Bellamy, Bud Collins, Judith Elian, Lance Tingay, World Tennis and Tennis Magazine (U.S.) in 1975.
That year, Ashe was awarded the 'Martini and Rossi' Award, voted for by a panel of journalists, and the ATP Player of the Year award.
In the ATP computer rankings, he peaked at No. 2 in May 1976.Ashe is believed to have acquired HIV from a blood transfusion he received during heart bypass surgery in 1983.
He publicly announced his illness in April 1992, and began working to educate others about HIV and AIDS.He founded the Arthur Ashe Foundation for the Defeat of AIDS and the Arthur Ashe Institute for Urban Health before his death from AIDS-related pneumonia at the age of 49 on February 6, 1993.
On June 20, 1993, he was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by United States President Bill Clinton.