Game, Set, & Match: Althea Gibson Forever® Stamp Now Available

f-2013-altheagibsonOn Friday, tennis legends Billie Jean King and Katrina Adams joined the U.S. Postal Service on the grounds of the U.S. Open in Flushing, New York, to dedicate a new Forever® stamp honoring Althea Gibson, the 36th inductee into the Black Heritage stamp series.

“I’m excited that the Postal Service is releasing a Forever stamp that honors the legacy of my friend, Althea Gibson,” said King. “Her achievements served as a catalyst for equality in sports and in life, and I am honored to participate in this historic event.”

As the first African-American tennis player to win one of the four major singles tournaments, Althea Gibson (1927–2003) helped integrate her sport at the height of the civil rights movement. She twice won Wimbledon and the U.S. Championships (now known as the U.S. Open) and became the top-ranked player in the world.

news09s3King and Adams were joined by USPS Judicial Officer William Campbell, U.S. Tennis Association Director at Large Chanda Rubin, and a host of other professional athletes and coaches.

“Althea Gibson was impossible to ignore,” said Campbell. “Her achievements demanded Americans everywhere pay attention—and pay attention they did. She opened doors that other African-American tennis players would one day walk through—including Arthur Ashe, Katrina Adams, Chanda Rubin, and the Williams sisters, Venus and Serena.”

Ceremony Program

Preserve a piece of sports history and celebrate the First Day of Issue of the Althea Gibson Forever® stamp with an official ceremony program and cover. Click the image for details.

The image on the stamp is based on a photograph (taken at Wimbledon) of the tall and lean Gibson bending down to hit a low volley. By capturing her in action, award-winning artist Kadir Nelson emphasized Gibson’s extraordinary grace and athleticism. To learn more about Nelson’s stamp art, and to see some of his early sketches, check out the recent article in Publishers Weekly.

The Althea Gibson Forever® stamp is available now online at, by calling 800-STAMP24 (800-782-6724), and at Post Offices nationwide.

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About USPS Stamps

The Postal Service™ is proud of its role in portraying the American experience to a world audience through the issuance of postage stamps and postal stationery. Each year the Postal Service issues commemorative stamps reflecting subjects of national significance and appeal. More than 160 years of stamp development has yielded an incredible archive of imagery and commentary reflecting American culture and society. Even in this fast-changing world, stamps are still a versatile and convenient method of postage. And stamp collecting is a lifetime hobby that is fun and educational for all ages. Stamp collecting is easy to start without a big investment. It is also a great way to learn about the world and its many wonders, opening the door to an exciting universe of history, science, geography, the arts, technology, and sports. Our mission is to provide universal service that is prompt, reliable, efficient, affordable, and self-sustaining. Throughout its history the Postal Service has grown with the nation, binding it together by ensuring that everyone, everywhere, has the same ability to communicate regardless of technological change.