Inspiration for a generation

Updated 1230 GMT (2030 HKT) November 19, 2013
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President Barack Obama awarded Bille Jean King the Presidential Medal of Freedom in the East Room of the White House in 2009. Chip Somerville/Getty Images
King made her tennis debut back in 1959. Here, competing under her maiden name Moffitt, she plays a forehand volley during her Wimbledon semifinal in 1964. Hulton Archive/Getty Images
King holds aloft the trophy after beating Ann Jones to win the women's singles title at the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships in 1967. Getty Images
Billie Jean King with Bobby Riggs before the 'Battle of the Sexes' match in 1973. NY Daily News via Getty Images
The 55-year-old Bobby Riggs cuts a forlorn figure as he slips to defeat against King in the famous "Battle of the Sexes" at Houston in 1973. Hulton Archive/Getty Images
Riggs and King embrace after the famous encounter in 1973. King won the match in straight sets. Hulton Archive/Getty Images
Actress Holly Hunter played King in a special TV film based on the Riggs match, which had a $100,000 winner-takes-all prize. Lucy Nicholson/AFP/Getty Images)
King was the senior member of a powerful 1978 U.S. Wightman Cup team which also included Chris Evert and Tracey Austin. Frank Tewkesbury/Hulton Archive/Getty Images
King presents Maria Sharapova with a check for $1 million after the Russian superstar won the WTA Championships in 2004 -- beating Serena Wiliams in the final. Robert Laberge/Getty Images
King is joined by Lindsay Davenport, Andy Roddick, Elton John, Serena Williams, Anna Kournikova, Tommy Haas and Jan-Michael Gambill at a World Team Tennis charity day. Skip Bolen/Getty Image
King, in her role as captain of the United States Fed Cup team, gives a pep talk to Monica Seles during a 2000 tie against Belgium. Mike Fiala/AFP/Getty
WTA founder King is flanked by Sharapova and Williams at a special gathering of former No. 1s to mark the organization's 40th anniversary. Clive Brunskill/Getty Images