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Tennis | More Tennis

© Gallo Images

From teeth to trophies, Ashe estate up for sale



The estate of tennis legend Arthur Ashe will be auctioned next Wednesday on the 20th anniversary of his death, with items from his wisdom teeth to prized trophies up for sale for the first time.

A portion of the proceeds from the sale, to be handled by Nate D. Sanders Auctions, will benefit the Arthur Ashe Learning Center, a non-profit group that promotes Ashe's legacy of scholarship, sports, health and service.

Ashe was the first black man to win at the US Open, doing so in 1968, and at Wimbledon, taking that title in 1975. As a tennis pioneer he tore down barriers in sport and civil rights.

"Arthur Ashe's life and career is really about the highest highs and lowest lows," Sanders said.

"As the first African-American to win the men's singles at Wimbledon, the US Open and the Australian Open, he rose to the very pinnacle of success in tennis and, in the process, willingly became ambassador to the next generation of black athletes.

"Ashe's career was shortened by heart disease and he contracted AIDS from a blood transfusion after heart surgery. This was just before the medical community began checking the blood supply. But, never defeated by his health challenges, Ashe continued his impassioned social advocacy and scholarly pursuits right up until his death."

Among the items up for sale are:

- Ashe's personal diaries from 1972 through 1993

- His 1970s passport, including a historic entry stamp to play in apartheid South Africa

- Hundreds of trophies, including from Wimbledon and the US Open as well as the Davis Cup, high school and his college years at the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA)

- Handwritten copies of his speeches on black athleticism, civil rights and AIDS

- Personal items including his wisdom teeth, Davis Cup jackets and his letterman sweater at UCLA.

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