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Billie Jean King Net Worth – Income, Age, Career, Height & More

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Billie Jean Moffit, a former professional tennis player, has an estimated net worth of $20 million, her hard-earned money in tennis. Billie is considered one of the most successful and best tennis players of all time. Because of her outstanding performance in her career, Billie always wanted to make an impact on society.

In her career, she won 39 Grand Slam titles, 11 mixed doubles, and 16 women’s doubles. She always believed in gender equality and has several thoughts about why women usually face different standards than men. Her chaos became more tangled when she was excluded from a group photo because she was wearing shorts instead of a dress. Very minor incidents made a major impact on her life decisions and her way of thinking.

Real nameBillie Jean Moffit
ProfessionAmerican Tennis Player
CountryAmerica
Yearly Income$2 Million
Last Updated2024
Net Worth$20 Million
Playing StyleRight Handed

Billie Jean King’s Early Life

One of the greatest tennis players of all time has had an athletic interest since childhood. She played basketball and softball as a child. Her parents always encouraged her to play something “lady-like”. She was inclined towards tennis and did several odd jobs to buy a racquet and balls.

Born on November 22, 1943, in Long Beach, California, Billie Jean had a family where she was always motivated to perform in sports. Her father Bill was a firefighter, her mother Betty was a homemaker but excellent at swimming, and her younger brother Randy, was fond of baseball.

She began to explore her athletic enthusiasm in basketball and softball, but, at the age of 11, she started to play tennis and practice for it day and night. She became internationally famous in 1967 when she became the top-ranked women’s tennis player. Her early success skyrocketed when she defeated Bobby Riggs in the “Battle of Sexes.”.

She also became a prominent athlete who accepted her homosexuality publicly. Billie Jean also used to take free lessons from tennis expert Clyde Walker on long, free public courts that were later renamed Billie Jean Moffitt King Tennis Court. She went to Long Beach Polytechnic High School, then enrolled in college, but left it in the middle to focus on her tennis career. 

Billie Jean King Career

In 196, Billie and her double partner Karen Hantze Susman became the first youngest pair to win the Wimbledon Ladies Double Championship. The same year, she was also ranked number three as the best tennis player in the world. Her tactics and impatient attitude toward her game manifested her dedication and how much she is passionate about her game.

She continued to play in local tournaments to improve her game. In 1996, Billie Jean successfully jumped from the number three position to the number one position as the best tennis player in the world. Before that, in 1965, she went to Los Angeles State College, where she met Larry King, whom she married in the same year. 

Larry King was an attorney and supported her wife at every step of her career. After conquering the title with Karen Hantze, she won the Wimbledon Ladies Singles Championship in 1966, 1967, and 1968. She also won the US Nationals and the Australian Open in 1968.Until now, there was no such lucrative and long-term scope of tennis in the United States, professionally.

However, in 1968, the tennis world opened the gates for the players to make their worth and earn money through the game. This was accompanied by a fixed salary after signing the contract with the promoters. Billie signed a contract with the National Tenis League for $40,000.

This was a huge step in her career, but she was still disappointed about the treatment that players got in major tournaments like Wimbledon and the US Open. Throughout her career, she won 39 Grand Slam titles, including 20 in women’s doubles. This was the time when she was gaining from both hands but still realized that women’s prize money or benefits were less than men’s. 

She then raised her voice against this inequality but was not getting a true response. So she and eight other players signed a $1 contract with Gladys Heldman, who was the publisher of World Tennis Magazine. They were known as the ‘Original 9’ who fought for equal rights. 

They fought and also formed ‘Virginia Slims Tours’, which worked hard to obtain financial equality from commercial sponsors and promoters. This was the time when women’s professional tennis came into existence. The tour’s professionalism was increasing its popularity, and with some improvements, Billie Jean became the first female athlete to earn more than $100,000.

After that, she received $15,000 at the US Open in 1972, which was less than the male championship.This led her to take a huge step toward forming a union with her fellow players, the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA). That same year, King’s efforts yielded fruitful results, and the US Open offered equal prizes to female and male players, making it the first major tournament to take such initiatives.

In 1983, Billie Jean announced her official retirement from the competition; however, her tennis career continued. She started coaching the US Fed Cup team from 1995-1996 and 1998-2003. She also passed on her wisdom by coaching the US women’s Olympic tennis team, which won gold medals in 1996 and 2000. Making her feet solidify in tennis, Billie Jean also served as a tennis commentator for many of the major TV networks.

Out of her achievements, her recognition as one of the ‘100 Most Important Americans’ was a major one, where she stood out as the only female athlete among the four listed in Life Magazine in 1990.In 1998, she also established the Billie Jean King WTT Charities Foundation and became the director of the Elton John AIDS Foundation and the National AIDS Funds.

Billie Jean King Biography

NicknameBillie
Age80 Years Old
Birth PlaceLong Beach, California
Height 5’5”
Weight 65 Kg
Eye ColorBlue
Hair ColorDark Brown
FatherBill Moffit
MotherBetty Moffit
BrotherRandy Moffit
Marital StatusCommitted
Ex-HusbandLarry King
Current SpouseIlana Kloss
Sexual OrientationLesbian

 

Also Read: Larry Bird

Other Ventures

Billie Jean was committed to social justice, and this became another reason why she was acclaimed, apart from being a successful tennis player. In 2006, the USTA National Tennis Center in New York was renamed in her honor as the house of the US Open.She also made her name prominent on the list of famous people.

President Barack Obama presented her with the Presidential Medal of Freedom for safeguarding the legal rights of women and LGBTQ people. This made her the first female athlete to receive the nation’s most prestigious civilian honor in 2009.

Afterward, in 2014, Billie Jean and Kloss established the Billi Jean King Leadership Initiative, which was a non-profit organization that reduced workplace discrimination based on race, gender, and sexuality.

Even after her age factor, Billie Jean never limits her efforts to inspire female and LGBTQ athletes. In 2019, the renowned sports channel ESPN built the Billie Jean King Youth Leadership Award, which encourages young athletes to support sports in their communities.

Relationship

After marrying Larry King, Billie Jean realized that she was attracted to women. She got involved with her secretary, Marylin Barnett. Marylin lived in their Malibu home rent-free. However, one day the couple asked her to move out, for which she started to blackmail Billie and told her that she might leak letters that Billie wrote to her.

When she failed to make them threaten, she sued the couple, and as a result, Billie Jean lost approximately $2 million in endorsements. In an interview, Larry King also revealed that Billie aborted their child the previous year. She gave the reason that she was not in a good place and wanted to explore her sexuality.

She added that she did not want to bring a baby into the world because she was trying to figure out her life. In 1987, Billie fell in love with her doubles partner Ilana Kloss, married her on October 18, 2018, and divorced Larry King.

Billie Jean King’s Net Worth

Billie Jean King has an estimated net worth of $20 million as of 2024. She is an American former World No. 1 women’s tennis player and is reportedly living her retired life with social work as her side hustle.

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