When Billie Beat Bobby

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photoShe was carried in a throne by body builders. He came in on a charriot. And this, was a tennis match like no other. On September 20, 1973 Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs played what was known as the "Battle of the Sexes."

King, 29, was at the top of her game. Riggs at 55, was past his prime but that didn't stop him from toppling Margaret Court when the two met up in the first of these showcase showdowns.

The King-Riggs match was a true event. The two played at the Houston Astrodome in front of 30-thousand plus spectators. It was the largest crowd ever assembled to watch a tennis match. 40-million more tuned in from home.

When Billie beat Bobby in straight sets, it was a victory for women everywhere in the battle for equality and recognition.


Selena Roberts, sports columnist for The New York Times, author of "A Necessary Spectacle: Billie Jean King, Bobby Riggs, and the Tennis Match that Leveled the Game"

Bud Collins, NBC analyst, columnist for The Boston Globe

Robin Bachin, professor of history at The University of Miami, studies gender and sports issues

This program aired on August 22, 2005.


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