Althea Gibson, Wilmington trailblazer and tennis legend, to be featured on US currency


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By WECT Staff

Althea Gibson in 1956 by Fred Palumbo

WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) – The United States Mint announced on Tuesday, Oct. 17, that the selections have been made for its American Women Quarters Program for 2025.

“This is the fourth and final year of this historic program featuring coins with reverse (tails) designs emblematic of the accomplishments and contributions of American women. The Mint facilities at Philadelphia and Denver will manufacture these circulating quarters honoring these women,” the announcement states.

The 2025 honorees include:

  • Althea Gibson
  • Stacey Park Milbern
  • Dr. Vera Rubin
  • Juliette Gordon Low
  • Ida B. Wells

“Althea Gibson was a trailblazing multi-sport athlete who accomplished an impressive list of firsts throughout her athletic career,” the release says. “As the first black athlete to break the color barrier at the highest level in tennis, Gibson won 11 Grand Slam titles by the end of the 1950s, including multiple championships at Wimbledon, the U.S. Open, and the French Open in both singles and doubles.

“She was voted the 1958 Female Athlete of the Year by the Associated Press and was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame and the International Women’s Sports Hall of Fame. Not content with one sport, she also became the first Black player to compete in the Women’s Professional Golf Tour.”

Gibson’s connection to Wilmington began in 1946 when the high school dropout and promising tennis player was taken into the family of the late Dr. Hubert Eaton, a prominent black physician who excelled in the sport of tennis himself.

Finish the article or see the quarter designs.

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