Can we get America moving again?
Billie Jean King
Billie Jean King is one of the most famous athletes and social icons in American history. She has long been a champion for social change and equality. King created new inroads for men and women in sports and beyond during her legendary career and she continues to make her mark today. Born in Long Beach, California, she first played tennis at the age of 11 in the public parks of Southern California. King won her first of a record 20 Wimbledon titles when she captured the 1961 Wimbledon Ladies’ Doubles Championship with Karen Hantze in 1961. She went on to win 39 Grand Slam singles, doubles and mixed doubles titles during her career On September 20, 1973, she empowered women and educated men when she defeated Bobby Riggs in one of the greatest moments in sports history – the Battle of the Sexes. This match is remembered for its effect on society and its contribution to the women’s movement. King was named one of the “100 Most Important Americans of the 20th Century” by Life Magazine and, in 2009, President Obama awarded her with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor. In 2006 her accomplishments both on and off the court were recognized when the home of the U. S. Open was renamed the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. In 2007, she co-founded GreenSlam, an organization dedicated to improving the greening of sports. In 2008 King released her first book in more than 20 years. Titled Pressure is a Privilege, the book shares a collection of life lessons she has used throughout her life and career. King continues her life mission to help the underserved, most notably through her efforts to provide programming and funding for those infected, affected or at risk of HIV/AIDS through her work with the Elton John AIDS Foundation (EJAF). A member of the organization’s Board of Trustees, King has helped the organization raise more than $225 million in support or worthy programs in 55 countries around the world. Since founding the Women’s Sports Foundation in 1974, Billie Jean has lead the organization in its mission to advance the lives of girls and women through sports and physical activity. Since its inception, the Foundation has awarded more than $50 million in educational and cash grants to advance participation, research and leadership in sports and physical activity for girls and women. In 2010 King was appointed to the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition. She is active in promoting many of the organization’s programs, including an association with First Lady Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move” initiative.
Katie Couric is an award-winning journalist and TV personality, well-known cancer advocate, and New York Times best-selling author of The Best Advice I Ever Got: Lessons From Extraordinary Lives. Couric joined the Disney/ABC Television Group in Summer 2011 and serves as special correspondent for ABC News, contributing to ABC World News, Nightline, 20/20, Good Morning America, This Week and primetime news specials. Beginning in September 2012, she will host a new syndicated daytime talk show, Katie. In September 2006, Couric became the first female solo anchor of an evening news broadcast. Couric served as anchor and managing editor of the CBS Evening News with Katie Couric until May 2011. She also was a contributor to 60 Minutes, CBS Sunday Morning and CBS News primetime specials. On May 31, 2006, Couric completed a 15-year run as co-anchor of NBC News’ Today Show. In October 2011, the Wall Street Journal called Couric of the “most successful anchors ever” at the Today Show. Couric is a tireless cancer advocate. She is co-founder of Stand Up To Cancer (SU2C), co-founder of the National Colorectal Cancer Research Alliance (NCCRA) with the Entertainment Industry Foundation (EIF) and Lilly Tartikoff, and founder of the Jay Monahan Center for Gastrointestinal Health. Born in Arlington, Virginia, Couric graduated with honors from the University of Virginia in 1979 with a bachelor’s degree in English and a focus on American studies. She lives in New York with her two daughters.