Tennis great Arthur Ashe on 2005 stamp

Aug. 28, 2004 at 7:29 PM

NEW YORK, Aug. 28 (UPI) -- The U.S. Postal Service unveiled the image of Arthur Ashe for a 37-cent stamp, during opening ceremonies Saturday at the U.S. Open in New York.

The stamp is scheduled for release in 2005. In a release the Postal Service said the image of Ashe portrayed on the stamp is from the photo by Michael O'Neill that was used as the Sports Illustrated cover in which Ashe was named the 1992 Sportsman of the Year.

Ashe, who suffered heart problems and contracted AIDS from a blood transfusion during surgery, died in 1993 at the age of 49.

During Arthur Ashe Kids Day ceremonies at the stadium that carries his name, Henry Pankey, USPS vice president for emergency preparedness, said "Ashe was a man who was unafraid to redefine the boundaries of his world."

"Through his efforts -- on and off the court -- he pushed us all to make the world a better place," he said.

Ashe was born in Richmond, Va., battled segregation to play tennis and went on to win three Grand Slam tournaments.

He was the first black to represent the United States on the Davis Cup team and became its captain, guiding the team to victories in 1981 and 1982. In addition to his tennis prowess he established foundations to help youths achieve their potential and to fight AIDS.

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