Arthur Ashe relied on datebooks to organize his life, logging in each upcoming speech, appearance and appointment as a means of keeping himself on task and communicating with his wife, photographer Jeanne Moutoussamy-Ashe.
Though Ashe died in 1993, his datebook from that year is filled with commitments. As such, it offers a window on a life interrupted: The extraordinary achievements of a sports pioneer — the first African American man to win the U.S. Open and Wimbledon — as well as a humanitarian, author and advocate for civil rights and AIDS awareness.
Ashe’s 1993 datebook is among a trove of items — including his 1968 U.S. Open trophy and 1975 Wimbledon trophy — that will be auctioned on Wednesday, the 20th anniversary of his death.
“It’s time,” Moutoussamy-Ashe, 61, said in a telephone interview Saturday. “I’ve obviously had 20 years to think about it; it’s not a decision we came to easily or quickly. Twenty years is a long time. Honestly, in that time, I have pretty much shared and given and distributed all of the things that I wanted to share and give and distribute to people, friends and family.”