Richard Dove Williams Jr. was born on February 14, 1942 in Shreveport, Louisiana. After graduating high school, Richard eventually settled in California.
Not long after moving to California, Richard met Betty Johnson. They married in 1965. Richard and Betty had five children before divorcing in 1973. These children were Sabrina, Richard III, Ronner, Reluss and Reneeka. Betty had a daughter from a previous relationship named Katrina, who helped raise the children after Richard and Betty divorced.
In 1979 Richard met Oracene Price, who called herself “Brandy”. Brandy had two daughters from a previous marriage to a man who died. Brandy and Richard married in 1980. Brandy worked as a nurse and Richard as a security guard. They had two daughters, Venus – born June 17, 1980 – and Serena – born September 26, 1981.
Brandy and Richard raised their family in Compton, California. They finally divorced in 2002.
Next, Richard began a relationship with a woman named Lakeisha Juanita Graham, a local grocery store owner. This attracted some attention as Lakeisha was only a year older than Venus. Richard and Lakeisha married in 2010. They had a son in 2012 and divorced in 2017.
After moving to Long Beach, California, Richard surfed the channels and landed at the 1978 French Open. Polish player Virginia Ruzici eventually won the women’s singles tournament. Richard wasn’t so interested in tennis as he was in the $40,000 Ruzici received for first place. Adjusted for inflation, that’s about $170,000 in today’s dollars.
Richard then decided to take part in the tournament.
Richard decided then that his daughters Venus and Serena would one day become tennis stars. He even wrote an 85-page plan to make his daughters the best tennis players in the world.
In the ’80s he began taking his daughters to public tennis courts to play tennis. Sometimes they trained from 6 a.m. until late at night.
After Venus was born, the family moved from California to Brandy’s hometown of Saginaw, Michigan. In 1981 they moved back to California, this time to the rugged area of Compton.
In 1991, the family moved to Palm Beach, Florida, to allow the girls to pursue full-time training away from the violence in Compton. In Florida, a local coach named Rick Macci saw the girls’ potential and began coaching them more professionally.
Venus turned pro in 1994 when she was 14 years old. Serena turned pro a year later.
In 1998, the sisters met at the Australian Open in their first major professional match. Venus was 17, Serena was 16. Venus won in single sets.
In 1999, at the age of 18, Serena won the US Open. In 2000, Venus won Wimbledon at the age of 20. When Venus won Wimbledon, Richard could be heard from the stands shouting “Straight outta Compton!”, a reference to the song by the Compton-based rap group NWA.
As we all know, Venus and Serena Williams dominated women’s professional tennis for years and continued to win major tournaments on a regular basis.
He was very present as their coach in the late 90’s and early 2000’s, but they have other coaches now. Today, Richard is regularly seen from the stands to cheer them on.
In their careers to date, Venus and Serena have won more than 120 singles titles, including 30 singles Grand Slam titles. As teammates, they have won 22 doubles titles, including 14 Grand Slams.
Together, the sisters have earned more than $175 million in tournament prize money alone. Off the tennis court, they’ve made hundreds of millions more from endorsement deals.
In 2014, Richard co-authored a book entitled Black and White: The Way I See It.
When he is not following his children’s tennis careers, he focuses on photography.
In November 2021, a biographical film about Richard titled King Richard was released by Warner Bros. Pictures. In the film, he is portrayed by Will Smith.
|Birth date:||Feb 16, 1942 (79 years old)|
|Nationality:||United States of America|