Billie Jean King, the founder of the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour, was among 16 global luminaries to receive the 2009 Presidential Medal of Freedom from US President Barack Obama in a ceremony at the White House.
The Medal of Freedom, America's highest civilian honor, is awarded to those who make an especially significant contribution to the security or national interests of the United States, world peace, cultural or other significant public or private endeavors.
Here’s what Barack Obama said in reference to Billie Jean King:
We honor… what she did to broaden the reach of the game, to change how women athletes and women everywhere view themselves, and to give everyone – including my two daughters – a chance to compete both on the court and in life.
(source: Sony Ericsson WTA Tour)