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Three Grand Slam singles winner: Arthur Robert Ashe Jr.

Arthur Robert Ashe Jr.

The only African-American man to win Wimbledon, U.S. and Australian Opens, Arthur Ashe. He was the first black player selected to the United States Davis Cup team. He was born in July 10, 1943
Richmond, Virginia and died from AIDS-related pneumonia at age 49 on February 6, 1993, New York city.

Ashe’s illness

Ashe underwent a quadruple bypass operation as he suffered his first heart-attack in 1979, aged just 36. He was required to undergo a second round of heart surgery. Latter he became a key spokesman and ambassador for the American Heart Association. He believed to have contracted HIV from a blood transfusion he received during second heart bypass surgery  in 1983.

Source: wnyc

Huge stigma surrounding the disease at the time made Ashe and his family to choose the option of keeping the diagnosis private. However, in April 1992 his illness was publicly announced by Ashe himself.

According to Ashe, he was believes he was rather forced into this particular decision. In April 1992, when a newspaper informed him of its intention to run an article about his illness. Ashe decided to pre-empt the article and held a news conference to announce he had AIDS. 

He spent the remainder of his life working to raise awareness about the disease. After Ashe went public about his illness, he became a vocal campaigner for AIDS awareness and he became a key figure in rejecting the false notion that AIDS was only of concern to intravenous drug users and homosexuals. He set up both the Arthur Ashe Foundation for the Defeat of AIDS and the Arthur Ashe Institute for Urban Health, and in December 1992 he spoke to the United Nations General Assembly, saying, “We want to be able to look back and say to all concerned that we did what we had to do, when we had to do it, and with all the resources required.”

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