Julie Heldman

October 20, 2019

October 20, 2019 “I feel a wonderful sense of pride for women tennis players and women athletes in general. I’m proud that I was a member of the ‘Original 9,’ and that we risked our careers for the future of women’s tennis, and we stood up against huge odds. People now are talking about equal pay for women athletes, but at the time we were just fighting for women to make a living at all because the men who were running tennis, were trying to shut us down. The Original 9 came up in 1970, but it was only two years before that, that open tennis started. Within those two years, the men who were running tennis made it almost impossible for a woman to continue playing, because there was a total of $5,000 in prize money, all year, for all women in the United States in 1970. In reaction to the terrible inequity, my mother and her magazine contributed an additional $5,000 to two separate tournaments. Besides these additions there were many weeks without anywhere to play. Jack Kramer, who was running the Los Angeles tournament, set the prize money ratio at eight to one, men to women. At

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