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Arthur Ashe

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During a benefit tournament in 1976 for the United Negro College Fund at New York's Madison Square Garden, a professional photographer stepped up to Ashe to take his picture. By the day's end, Ashe had a date with the photographer, the stunning Jeanne Marie Moutoussamy. Four months later, Ashe—in a cast having recently undergone heel surgery- and Moutoussamy were married in New York City by Reverend Andrew Young, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations.

Ashe's heel surgery had been successful, but another injury followed, and, compounded with recurrent eye inflammations, he decided to lay low for the year. Though he took the Australian Open doubles title, with his partner Tony Roche, he was forced to skip Wimbledon and the U.S. Open in 1977. This caused his ranking to fall, which in turn led the sportswear company Catalina to drop Ashe as a key endorser. Ashe was forced to come up with other means of providing an income.

Ashe's academic background in business and his real-life experience with some of the largest corporations in America made him comfortable acting as a consultant and entrepreneur. During the course of his life, he had a business relationship with Head USA, a manufacturer of sports gear that kept Ashe on board even though it lost accounts in the South due to Ashe's race. Doral Resort and Country Club maintained its association with Ashe, which had special meaning for Ashe since the nearby Admiral Hotel refused to accommodate him during a 1961 tournament in Miami, yet housed all the other junior players, who were white. In addition, Ashe became a columnist with Tennis magazine and the Washington Post, and was a consultant with clothing manufacturer Le Coq Sportif. "The longevity and human quality of these connections mean far more to me than the money they bring," he wrote in Days of Grace. Ashe also acted as consultant with the Aetna Life and Casualty Company, where he had been in charge of minority recruitment, and would later be honored by the offer of a seat on their board of directors.

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Famous Sports StarsTennisArthur Ashe Biography - Growing Up, Early Lessons, The Amateur Years, Chronology, Ranked Number One, Center Court