Tennis Great for Wheaties

updated 04/21/2004 at 12:00 AM EDT

originally published 09/18/1997 12:00AM

Fifty-one years after she broke the color barrier in tennis, Althea Gibson is prepping for a new prominent role -- on the front of the familiar Wheaties cereal box. The East Orange, N.J., resident, known today as something as a recluse, did not attend Monday's ceremony in Newark at which the new cereal box was unveiled. (Some reports say that she is in failing health.) But she will not likely be forgotten. Former New York City Mayor David Dinkins, an old friend of Gibson's, told the Associated Press: "People know of Arthur Ashe and now the Williams sisters, Venus and Serena, but (Althea) did it first. She was a gifted athlete and a pioneer."

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