Billie Jean King turned 75. (Photo by THE ASSOCIATED PRESS)

Tennis great Billie Jean King feted for 75th birthday

NEW YORK — Billie Jean King is celebrating her 75th birthday, which lands on Thanksgiving this year.

The tennis great recently hosted a birthday party at the New-York Historical Society that included New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft and video tributes from former President Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.

Kraft noted King’s social justice work, including her influence on the passage of Title IX. The 1972 federal law opened doors for girls and women by banning sex discrimination in educational and sports programs.

Nona Hendryx, Cyndi Lauper and Sara Bareilles performed, along with the Girls Prep Choir from the Bronx. Emma Stone and Alan Cumming serenaded King with a tune from “Cabaret.”

Tony Bennett, Jeanie Buss, Holly Hunter, Maria Sharapova and John McEnroe also attended the event, and the museum is running a photo exhibit marking her birthday.

King won 39 Grand Slam titles and received a 2009 Presidential Medal of Freedom.

By The Associated Press

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