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Browne, Mary Kendall (03 June 1891–19 August 1971), tennis player and golfer, was born in Ventura County, California, the daughter of Albert William Browne, a rancher and Spanish-American War captain, and Neotia Rice. She attended Los Angeles (Calif.) Polytechnic High School. Her older brother Nathaniel Borrodail Browne, an excellent tennis competitor, taught Mary a sound all-court style and sharpened her volleying and smashing skills in practice by stationing her at the net to parry his hardest drives....

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Althea Gibson. Watercolor and pencil on board, 1957, by Boris Chaliapin. National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; gift of Time magazine.

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Gibson, Althea (25 August 1927–28 September 2003), tennis player and professional golfer, was born in Silver, South Carolina, to Daniel Gibson and Annie Bell Gibson, sharecroppers. In 1930 the family moved from the rural South to the urban North, relocating in Harlem, where her three sisters and brother were born. Althea frequently skipped school and repeatedly ran away from home, and this resulted in regular whippings from her father. Feisty and determined, Althea preferred to spend her time in bowling alleys and pool halls. Althea was an outstanding all-around athlete—she played any kind of ball sport, excelling at paddle tennis and basketball. A self-described tomboy, Althea also played football, and her father taught her how to box, a skill she used to navigate recurrent assaults from boys and girls....