Hero – a person who is admired or idealized for courage, outstanding achievements, or noble qualities.
Many may know Arthur Ashe. They may know that he is the first African American to win the men’s singles at Wimbledon and the U.S. Open. They are probably aware of the fact that he is the first African-American man to be ranked No. 1 in the world. Many know that he contracted AIDS through a blood transfusion he received during his second heart operation.
So what don’t most people know?
Maybe people don’t know that after coming forward about his condition, he worked hard to bring awareness about the disease. His hard work included a speech at the United Nations, starting a new foundation, and laying the groundwork for a $5 million fundraising campaign.
With his opportunity as an African American in a sport with very few African Americans, he pushed to create inner city tennis programs for youth and helped found the Association of Men’s Tennis Professionals. He also spoke out against apartheid in South Africa.
All in all, it’s easy to see why Arthur Ashe is considered a hero. Mr. Ashe, we thank you for showing and proving that heroes use the good and the bad to make a difference.
“True heroism is remarkably sober, very undramatic. It is not the urge to surpass all others at whatever cost, but the urge to serve others at whatever cost.” – Arthur Ashe