The Preston Robert Tisch Award in Civic Leadership is an annual Aspen Institute Award, funded by the family of the late Preston Robert Tisch to carry on his legacy of leadership, public service and philanthropy. The award is presented annually to an individual who has had a positive impact on his/her community, who embodies the broad Aspen Institute ideal of values-based leadership, and who has exemplified this ideal in innovative ways that can serve as models for other leaders.
|Wednesday, November 30, 2011 - 6:30pm - 7:45pm||
New York, NY
Billie Jean King – Sports Icon and Humanitarian; Founder, Women's Sports Foundation; Co-Founder, World TeamTennis
An innovator in the area of sports and social change, Billie Jean King has created new inroads for both genders in and out of sports during her legendary career. The winner of 39 Grand Slam singles, doubles and mixed doubles tennis titles, including a record 20 titles at Wimbledon, she was named one of the “100 Most Important Americans of the 20th Century” by Life Magazine. King was one of nine players who broke away from the tennis establishment in a move that led to the birth of women’s professional tennis and the formation of the Virginia Slims Tour and the Women’s Tennis Association. She also founded the Women’s Sports Foundation and co-founded World Team Tennis, a ground-breaking co-ed professional tennis league. Her defeat of Bobby Riggs in 1973—dubbed “The Battle of the Sexes”—is still remembered for its effect on society and its contribution to the women’s movement. In 2006, the National Tennis Center, home of the U.S. Open, was renamed the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in honor of King’s contributions to tennis, sports and society, both on and off the court.
Billie Jean King has received numerous other honors including being named a Global Mentor for Gender Equality by UNESCO in 2008 and receiving in 2009 the NCAA President’s Gerald R. Ford Award, recognizing her contributions to improving higher education and intercollegiate athletics. That same year, President Obama awarded her the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civic honor. She continues to be a leader in the fight for equality and recognition in the GLBT community and has also been honored by many of the leading GLBT organizations, including the Human Rights Campaign, GLAAD and Lambda Legal Foundation.
Christine Brennan – Sports Columnist, USA Today
An award-winning sports columnist, as well as a commentator for ABC News, CNN and NPR, Christine Brennan was twice named one of the country’s 10 top sports columnists by the Associated Press Sports Editors. The nation’s most widely read female sports columnist, she was the first woman sports writer at the Miami Herald in 1981 and the first women to cover the Washington Redskins as a staff writer at The Washington Post in 1985. Her USA Today column in 2002 on the Augusta National Golf Club triggered the debate on the club’s lack of female members. Later that year, Sports Illustrated’s Golf Plus section named her one of golf’s 12 heroes of the year. Brennan was the first president of the Association for Women in Sports Media (AWSM).
The author of seven books, her 1996 best-seller, Inside Edge, was named one of the top 100 sports books of all-time by Sports Illustrated. She has received numerous awards and honors, including the inaugural Women’s Sports Foundation Billie Award for Journalism in 2006. Brennan is a member of the Ohio Women’s Hall of Fame and Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism Hall of Achievement.