2005 Commemorative Stamp Program
In 2005, the Postal Service honors Arthur Ashe (1943-1993), the first African-American man to win Grand Slam tennis tournaments—Wimbledon and the United States and Australian Opens. Ashe became as renowned for his intellect, moral character and commitment to social causes as for his prowess on the tennis courts of the world. A month before Ashe died, Sports Illustrated named him "Sportsman of the Year" and ran this color photograph of him by Michael O'Neill on the cover of the Dec. 21, 1992, issue. The softly lit, photographic portrait shows Ashe in semi-profile against a black background, holding a tennis racket. The image merges Ashe's athletic and intellectual attributes and reveals a visionary quality as Ashe appears to gaze into the future, where he believed positive change could be realized. Carl T. Hermman is the stamp's art director.