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Arthur was the first born just as I was, except he was the first and only while I on the other hand have three siblings. We were both born into extremely loving and caring families. Arthur was raised by extremely strict parents and was not even allowed to go out after school or hang out with friends as I do occasionally. His father just like my parents set goals for self-reliance, discipline and responsibility. Because of those goals Arthur began to take great pride in his reputation. I also feel as if I’m always being judged. We have both been called “quiet” people but Arthur eventually grows out of that and my parents tell me I’m beginning to do the same. Both of our parents, to our displeasure, force us to do our numerous chores before anything else. The difference lies within the punishment for disobeying our parents wishes. The so called “beatings” that Arthur received in his time were nothing unordinary yet if those beatings were to occur today they would be seen as wrong and inhumane.
Despite the differences we share many similar diversions such as good quality time with our families. Arthur was known to spend countless hours reading and listening to music with his mom. Yet at the age of 6 Arthur had to face one of the most traumatic expierences of his life when he lost his mother, Matti Ashe, to a fatal case of toxemia while in labor. Similar to this experience I lost my grandfather at the age of five. Although I was impacted greatly it was not a loss as great as Arthurs loss of a loving mother. I Can recall the day it happened just as well as Arthur recalled the details of when he last saw his mother.
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At the age of six, Arthur picked up his first tennis racket and showed a natural talent for the sport. Strangely enough it was at this same age of six when I decided to attend my first dance trial. Im sure both Arthur and I did not know how our talents in these areas would mold our future expierences for the best. Arthur took up tennis in high school just as I joined dance. Arthurs was under the direction of Althea Gibson’s former coach, Walter Johnson. Unlike Arthur I do not have a professional coach but I do have a very talentwed instructor. Our natural talents, self-pride, and hatred for failing is what helped Arthur and I acell in our area of expertise.
Arthurs skill grew so great in high school that he was able to earn a tennis scholarship to UCLA. This was uncharted territory for blacks yet knowing the pressures he would face he didn’t give up. His skill at a college grew to a national level. In 1963 he was chosen to represent the US in the Davis Cup where he became the first African American to play for the US team. This gave his great pride and joy .He then aquired an individual and team NCAA championship in 1965. Even with spending most of his free-time on the courts, Arthur graduated in 1966 with a BA in business administration. I am finding it harder and harder to manage my time, with schoolwork and extra-curricular activities, Arthur made doing all these things at the same time look easy.
In 1969 Arthur and a few other players formed the ATP- association of tennis professionals in order to raise funds for the ever slacking rewards that winners of tornuments received. Arthur at this time began to focus more on the “cause” rather than his game. Standing up against injustices Arthur began to make a difference. Arthur than realized that he was focusing less and less on his game so he began to redefine his skill and bring his game back up to par. This all payed off in his finest season in 1975 when Arthur won the Wimbledon and was ranked the #1 player in the world.
In 1977 Arthur got married to Jeanne Moutoussamy. Then in 1979 he awoke with chest pains and had to have several open heart surgeries which caused his retirement in 1980. He then turned his focus to journalism, becoming a commentator for HBO sports, ABC sports, and becoming a columnist for the Washington Post and the Tennis Magazine. In 1985 he was elected into the Tennis hall of fame. In 1986 his wife gave birth to their daughter Camera Elizabeth Ashe. The in 1988 he published his three-volume book, A Hard Road To Glory. But 1988 was the year that Arthur received the tragic news that he had aquired aids through a blood transfusion during one of his open heart surgeries. But that wasn’t it Arthur then had to deal with the tragic loss of his father to a stroke in 1989.
Arthur kept the information of his aids private from the public in hopes that his daughter could live a normal life. The newspapers however kept making statements about this issue so instead of dealing with the rumors he gave a press conference on april 8, 1992 telling of his contraction of the aids virus. To his surprise this sparked a great amount of compassion and love which inspired Arthur to create Thee AAFDA. This organization raised aids awarness to a level that was never thought possible. On febuary 6 1993 arthur ashe passed away from phenumonia