Serena Williams embodies style, power, beauty, and courage. Currently ranked #1, Serena has overcome insurmountable odds to win 22 career Grand Slams, tying her with Steffi Graf for the Open Era record. Not only is she remarkable at tennis, her success with endeavors outside of the sport include film, television, fashion, and philanthropy. Her tennis ability combined with her off-court activity makes her one of the most recognizable names and faces in the world – an icon.
Serena was born September 26, 1981 in Saginaw, Michigan, to Richard and Oracene Williams. While she was still an infant, the family moved to Compton, California where she began playing tennis at the age of four. At nine, Serena and her family moved to West Palm Beach, Florida. Since that time, she has become one of the most dominant figures in tennis.
In 2015, a year for the ages, Serena won four grand slams: Wimbledon, the French Open, the Australian Open, and the 2014 US Open, a feat affectionately known as the “Serena Slam.” With such accomplishments to her name, Sports Illustrated named Serena their “2015 Sportsperson of the Year.”
She has won a title in all four Grand Slam tournaments. She has won 66 singles championships, 22 doubles championships, and was also Gold-Medalist at the 2000 (doubles), 2008 (doubles), and 2012 (singles and doubles) Olympics.
Off the court, fashion and acting are Serena’s passions. Serena’s acting credits include an appearance on “Drop Dead Diva,” a role as an ex-gangster on Showtime’s “Street Time,” and a leading role on an episode of Lifetime’s “The Division.” Serena has also lent her vocal talents to “The Simpsons” and Disney’s “Higgleytown Heroes.” She was also featured among ten individuals named “Fashion Trendsetters” by Vogue Magazine on a VH1/Vogue Television Special. Serena has used her fashion savvy to create her own clothing label, Aneres, which has been featured in In Style Magazine. You can also find Serena on HSN, where her Serena Williams Signature Statement collection is featured. Her most recent line premiered at New York Fashion Week on September 9, 2014. In 2011, Serena’s passion for nails came to fruition when she partnered with OPI to create her Glam Slam Series, an assortment of colors inspired by the tennis and fashion icon.
Serena is deeply committed to philanthropic causes. Over the past five years, Williams has helped to fund the construction of two schools in Africa. The Serena Williams Secondary School in Matooni, Kenya, opened in 2008 and the Serena Williams Secondary School Wee Village opened in February 2010. Serena was also honored as a UNICEF Ambassador in 2011. Some of the other organizations that Serena supports include the S.E. Tennis and Learning Center in Washington, D.C., the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund, Race for the Homeless, Stop the Violence, the Special Olympics, and the Arthur Ashe Foundation.
Serena splits her time between Palm Beach, Florida, and Los Angeles, California, with her Yorkshire Terrier, Chip.