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Ann Moore Gregory
*Ann Moore-Gregory was born on this date in 1912. She was a Black golfer and community activist.
Ann Moore was born in Aberdeen, Mississippi. Her parents, Henry and Myra Moore, died when she was still a young child. A white-American family in Aberdeen then raised Gregory. However, the Mississippi of the early 1900s was immersed with Jim Crow, and young Ann Moore was not brought into the white family like a daughter but made to work as a servant and often treated as such. With few other options, she remained with the family, working as a maid until she married in 1938.
Her new family migrated to Gary, Indiana, where she began playing tennis. While never having played the sport until she was a young adult, Moore became so good that she won the Gary City championship in 1937. In 1939, she married Leroy "Percy" Gregory. They had a daughter, JoAnn, in 1942. Shortly thereafter, her husband was drafted into the United States Navy. Her husband introduced her to golf before serving in WW II. By the time he returned in 1945, Gregory had become very good on the Links. By 1950, she had become a top-flight golfer. That year, she won six championships in the seven tournaments that she entered, including the National UGA Tournament in Washington, D.C. In 1956,
Gregory became the first African American to enter the U.S. Amateur Championship held in Indianapolis, Indiana. She used this pioneering experience as a springboard to greater pinnacles. Her crowning achievement came in 1989 when, at 76, she won the gold medal in the (over 50) U.S. Senior Olympics. She was a trailblazer on the cutting edge of athletics, social justice, and civil rights. Upon her death in 1990, she was eulogized as "a breath of fresh air and an inspiration to golfers and anyone else who might otherwise have been afraid to face new frontiers."
The Illustrated History of Women's Golf,
Taylor Trade Publishing,
Boulder, Colorado, 1991.
Uneven Lies: The Heroic Story of African Americans in Golf, American Golfer, 2000.
Sinnette, Calvin H.,
Forbidden Fairways: African Americans and the Game of Golf,
Thomson Gale, 1998.