Here, a 20-year-old Ashe prepares to return a shot during a match in Forest Hills, New York, at the tournament that would become the U.S. Open five years later. Ashe played in 18 U.S. Opens during his career, counting those before the Open Era began.
Getty ImagesEdward A. Hausner
First major title
Ashe accepts the trophy after winning the inaugural U.S. Open Championship at Forest Hills, New York, on Sept. 9, 1968. Ashe beat Tom Okker in the final 14-12, 5-7, 6-3, 3-6, 6-3. Ashe's father is also present (right). The title was Ashe's first Slam win and only at the U.S. Open.
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Ashe is seen here at Queen's Club, London, in 1970. At this point, Ashe was just a few months removed from his title at the 1970 Australian Open, his second of three major championships.
Getty ImagesJohn Minihan
Ashe -- seeing here playing a shot at Wimbledon -- missed the tournament five times in his career. In 1973, the reason was an ATP boycott of the tournament that garnered much public criticism.
Getty ImagesTony Duffy
Ashe and Jimmy Connors pose at the net before the Wimbledon final in 1975. Connors was the defending champion. For Ashe, it was his first and only appearance in the final at the All England Club.
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Ashe holds up the championship trophy after defeating Jimmy Connors 6-1, 6-1, 5-7, 6-4 in the Wimbledon final on July 5, 1975. It was Ashe's third and final Grand Slam title and the first ever for a black man at Wimbledon.
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Off the court
Ashe and his wife, Jeanne Marie, relax in their Upper East Side apartment in New York City in August 1977. Ashe officially retired from tennis in April 1980.
Getty ImagesWilliam E. Sauro
A sobering announcement
Ashe announces that he is HIV positive at a press conference in New York City on April 8, 1992. Ashe contracted the virus from a blood transfusion during a heart bypass operation, and died of AIDS-related pneumonia less than a year later.
Getty ImagesMichael Brennan
Taking up the cause
Ashe speaks at a World Health Organization (WHO) meeting on World AIDS Day in December 1992. Ashe became an activist for the cause in his final days, preaching sex education. He died of AIDS-related pneumonia on Feb. 6, 1993.
AFP/Getty ImagesHAI DO
Then-U.S. President Bill Clinton (right) awarded Ashe with a posthumous Presidential Medal of Freedom for his human rights work. Here, Ashe's wife Jeanne is presented with the award during the National Sports Award at Constitution Hall in Washington, D.C., in June 1993.
AFP/Getty ImagesROBERT GIROUX
A tennis cathedral in his honor
Young fans today may know Ashe best for the giant arena that bears his name. Arthur Ashe Stadium at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows, N.Y., is the largest tennis-first facility in the world and is the show court for the U.S. Open.
AFP/Getty ImagesSTAN HONDA
A day for the kids
Arthur Ashe Kids' Day -- an annual tradition on the Friday before the start of the U.S Open -- remains a highlight on the tennis calendar. Here, fitness trainer Shaun T and world No. 1 Novak Djokovic of Serbia dance during the festivities prior to the start of the 2014 tournament.