A Tribute to Academic, Athletic ExcellenceThe 10th anniversary of tennis legend Arthur Ashe’s death in February triggered an outpouring of tributes in the news media and by some sports organizations. Ashe, who was 49 years old when he succumbed to an AIDS-related illness on Feb. 6, 1993, is now celebrated as much for his social activism and dedication to academic achievement as for his accomplishments on the tennis court. Scholars and sports experts say Ashe’s legacy makes him a unique figure in modern sports and one that will be a standard for others for a long time to come. Ashe is the first and only Black man to win the U.S. Open, Wimbledon and Australian Open tennis titles. Black Issues In Higher Education has honored Ashe annually through its Arthur Ashe Sports Scholars Award, whereby student-athletes of color are recognized for both their academic and athletic achievements.
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