The Good: On this date in 1975, tennis great Arthur Ashe hit the pinnacle of his career by winning the prestigious men's single championship at Wimbledon. He was the first African American to do it.
"When I took the match point, all the years, all the effort, all the support I had received over the years came together," he said. The win was an early birthday present... Ashe turned 31 five days later.
"Success is a journey, not a destination," he said." The doing is often more important than the outcome."
The Bad: At 35, Ashe suffered a heart attack while taking part in a tennis clinic in New York. His continued heart problems forced retirement the following year. In 1983, he had double bypass surgery that included a blood transfusion tainted with the HIV virus.
Calm and Dignity: Two months before his death in 1993, Ashe appeared before the United Nations General Assembly and implored the delegates to increase funding for AIDS research. He also established the Arthur Ashe Foundation for the defeat of AIDS.
Journalist and friend Bryant Gumbel eulogized the great tennis star: "He was an ambassador of what was right. He was an ambassador of dignity. He was an ambassador of class."
The heart can muster dignity in good times and bad.