BetteBack 1974: Bette Midler Makes It Into Collier’s Encyclopedia

Mister D: For the youngsters, the encyclopedia was the book form of Wikipedia (a big deal!)

Press Telegram
On courts, caches, clover
Mary Ellis Carlton
January 30, 1974

It WAS SAD enough that Long Beach’s international tennis queen Billie Jean King, now 30 was defeated by Florida’s 19-year-old Chris Evert in the Virginia Slims tourney at Mission Viejo Sunday. But it’s downright disturbing to see what Collier’s Encyclopedia did to her in its 1973 Yearbook, just received.

In the People In The News section, 43 newsmakers, are listed. Of those, only nine are women: Adelle Davis,
Frances Fitzgerald, Nikki Giovanni, Katherine Graham, Martha Griffiths, Olga Korbut, Golda Meir, Bette Midler and Dixy Lee Ray.

Billie Jean probably got more press in ’73 than any named except Golda Meir, But she didn’t rate a paragraph. Instead, male chauvinist Bobby Riggs is featured, complete with a picture of him skittering around the court in ruffly dress’and sunbonnet. No wonder there’s women’s lib in the world of lob.

Billie Jean rates pictures and credits in the sports section, though especially for improving take home pay.
“Women players, under the leadership of Billie Jean King,” the account says, “have often said the money for women tennis pros ‘stinks.’ The situation was corrected when a subsidiary of Bristol Myers contributed §55,000
to the women’s purse (Forest Hills) to equalize, the prize money.”

The subsidiary? Ban

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