a monthly look at the faces that have made history

Suzanne Lenglen

Sports-trivia fans, here's your chance. Name the first female tennis star to boast all of the following: public mood swings, courtside tantrums, taboo-shattering style, control-freak father. If you said Suzanne Lenglen, congratulations. In her daringly short Jean Patou-designed white outfits, a signature wide scarf wrapped around her cropped bob, Lenglen was an athlete for the Jazz Age and a media darling to rival Serena and Venus. Wimbledon was forced to move to larger quarters to accommodate the crowds that roared at her every move. She'd sip brandy between sets, break down in tears during a bad game and take to her bed with various illnesses in the off season. But before her death from pernicious anemia at 39, Lenglen not only changed the game for every woman who followed her; she won Wimbledon and the French Open six times each—records that remained untouched for almost fifty years.

Subscribe to today!