(born February 16, 1942 ) is an American tennis
coach, and the father of Venus
and Serena Williams
Williams is one of six children and only son of single mother Julia Mae Williams. He has been known to exaggerate aspects of his upbringing. A childhood friend told Sports Illustrated
writer L. Jon Wertheim
that Julia did not grow cotton
, as Richard has claimed. Williams also claimed to be a star athlete in high school, but no records of his exploits exist.
After graduating from high school, Williams moved to California, where he met a woman named Betty Johnson, whom he married in 1965. They had two daughters and three sons before divorcing in 1973.
Williams met Oracene Price
in 1979, who had three daughters by her late husband. They married in 1980 after Venus was born. They lived for a time in Lansing, Michigan
, but eventually moved to Compton
He began taking Venus and Serena to the public tennis courts, then soon got them into Shreveport
tennis tournaments. In 1995, Richard pulled them out of a tennis academy, and coached them himself.
Serena won the US Open in 1999; Venus beat Lindsay Davenport
to win the 2000 Wimbledon title. After that victory, Richard shouted "Straight Outta Compton
!" (in reference to a song by NWA
based on an area... Read More