Arthur Ashe Stadium

Arthur Robert Ashe, Jr. (1943-1993) was born in Richmond, Virginia, and began playing tennis at the age of 10. In 1966 he graduated from the University of California at Los Angeles, where he won the United States Intercollegiate Singles Championship and led his team to the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) championship. At the 1968 U.S. Open, Ashe defeated several competitors to win the men’s singles title. By 1975, he was ranked the number-one tennis player in the U.S. After this string of athletic successes, he began suffering heart problems. Retiring from the sport, he underwent heart surgery in 1979 and again in 1983.

During one of his hospital stays, Ashe was likely given an HIV-tainted blood transfusion and he soon contracted AIDS. Despite his illness, he remained involved in public life. His participation in many youth activities, such as the National Junior Tennis League and the ABC Cities Tennis Program, and his role in protests against South African apartheid earned Ashe recognition as 1992 Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year, long after his athletic career had ended. He died of pneumonia in New York at age 49.


"Arthur Ashe Stadium," New York City Department of Parks & Recreation, accessed March 8, 2023,