Arthur Ashe Cause of Death, Obituary – Tennis star Arthur Ashe, the only African American to win Wimbledon, the U.S. and Australian Opens, passes away in New York City at the age of 49 from AIDS-related complications on February 6, 1993. Thousands of mourners came up to pay their respects to Ashe at the governor’s palace in Richmond, Virginia, where his body afterwards lay in state. Ashe was a groundbreaking athlete and social warrior. On July 10, 1943, Arthur Robert Ashe, Jr. was born in Richmond. When he was a little child, he picked up a tennis racket in a segregated playground close to his house. Ashe received a full scholarship to attend U.C.L.A. and joined the American Davis Cup Team for the first time in 1963. He won the individual NCAA tennis championship in 1965.
The team championship for U.C.L.A. Ashe spent two years in the American Army following his graduation in 1966. He became the first Black man to win a Grand Slam competition in 1968 while still an amateur player by winning the U.S. Open. Ashe won the Australian Open the following year, in 1970. He was a founding member and eventually president of the male players’ organization, the Association of Tennis Professionals, which was established in 1972. Three years later, he defeated Jimmy Connors, who was heavily fancied, to win Wimbledon’s singles championship. Ashe spent ten years competing for the Davis Cup team, winning three titles. Using his winnings and endorsements, he became the first African-American millionaire in his sport. However, heart issues emerged around 1980.
prompted Ashe to give up playing tennis. In 1985, he was admitted to the International Tennis Hall of Fame. Ashe was well-known for his dedication to humanitarian work and charitable organizations off the court. He started tennis leagues for urban kids and worked to end apartheid in South Africa. After retiring, Ashe worked as a TV sports analyst and journalist and published “A Hard Road to Glory,” a three-volume book about Black athletes. Ashe discovered he had AIDS in 1988. He was thought to have acquired the HIV virus through a contaminated blood transfusion after a cardiac procedure in 1983. Up until April 1992, when he was alerted by a newspaper that it intended to publish a story about his sickness, Ashe kept his medical condition a secret. Ashe made the choice to avoid.
He staged a press conference to declare that he had AIDS. The rest of his life was devoted to spreading knowledge about the illness. The Arthur Ashe Stadium at the USTA National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows, New York, was designated as such by the U.S. Tennis Association in 1997.