On February 14, 1942, Richard Dove Williams Jr. made his debut into the world in Shreveport, Louisiana. Following his graduation from high school, Richard moved to California and started a new life there.
Marriages and Kids
Richard didn’t stay in California long before he became acquainted with Betty Johnson. They tied the knot in 1965. Prior to their separation in 1973, Richard and Betty were the parents of five children. Those children were Sabrina, Richard III, Ronner, Reluss, and Reneeka. After Richard and Betty split, Betty’s daughter Katrina, whom she had from a previous relationship, assisted with the upbringing of their other children.
1979 was the year that Richard first interacted with Oracene Price, also known as “Brandy.” Because of a prior marriage to a man who passed away, Brandy is the mother of two girls. The year 1980 marked the year of Brandy and Richard’s wedding. Both Brandy and Richard held jobs in the medical field. Brandy worked as a nurse, and Richard was a security guard. After then, they were blessed with two little girls: Venus, who was born on June 17, 1980, and Serena, who arrived on September 26, 1981.
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Compton, California was home for Brandy and Richard as they brought up their children there. In the end, they split up in the year 2002.
Next, Richard started a relationship with a woman who owned a grocery store in the area named Lakeisha Juanita Graham. Due to the fact that Venus was just one year older than Lakeisha, this raised a few eyebrows. In 2010, Richard and Lakeisha became husband and wife. In 2012, they became parents to a son, and they divorced the following year, in 2017.
Richard began channel surfing sometime after relocating to Long Beach, California, and somehow found his way to coverage of the 1978 French Open. Virginia Ruzici, a player from Poland, emerged victorious in the end to claim the title of women’s singles champion. Although Richard wasn’t very interested in the tennis competition, he couldn’t help but notice that Ruzici was awarded a first-place reward of $40,000. After allowing for the effects of inflation, that sum is equivalent to somewhere approximately 170,000 dollars in today’s currency.
At that same moment, Richard made the decision that both of his daughters, Venus and Serena, would one day become famous tennis players. To achieve his goal of having his daughters become the top tennis players in the world, he even wrote out a strategy that was 85 pages long.
In the 1980s, when his girls were still little, he started taking them to public tennis courts to teach them how to play the sport. They would occasionally drill from six in the morning until it became dark.
After Venus was born, the family uprooted their lives and moved from California to Saginaw, Michigan, which is Brandy’s hometown. In 1981, they made the trip across the country, this time relocating to California and deciding to make their home in the harsh district of Compton.
The family relocated to Palm Beach, Florida in 1991 so that the girls could practice continuously away from the dangers that existed in Compton at the time. Rick Macci, a local coach in Florida, saw the girls’ potential and began training them in a more professional manner when he saw them play.
At the age of 14, Venus debuted professionally in 1994. The year after that, Serena began her professional career.
The memorable showdown between the two sisters took place at the Australian Open in 1998 and was their first major professional match. Venus was 17, and Serena was 16. Venus won in straight sets.
Serena Williams, being just 18 years old, won the U.S. Open in 1999. At the age of twenty, Venus won Wimbledon in the year 2000. Richard could be heard yelling “Straight outta Compton!” from the stands when Venus won Wimbledon. This was a reference to the song “Straight outta Compton,” which was performed by the rap group NWA, who was also from Compton.
It is common knowledge at this point that Venus and Serena Williams went on to dominate the professional women’s tennis circuit for a number of years and that they continue to win big tournaments on a regular basis.
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Although he was extremely visible as their coach throughout the late 1990s and the early 2000s, they have now gone on to working with new instructors. Today, Richard can be seen from time to time clapping and shouting for them from the stands.
Accomplishments of Venus and Serena Williams
In their separate careers to this point, Venus and Serena have won a combined total of over 120 singles trophies, including a combined total of 30 Grand Slam singles wins. As a team, they have been victorious in 22 doubles competitions, 14 of which have been at the Grand Slam level.
The total amount of tournament prize money that the sisters have received between them exceeds 175 million dollars. Off the court, they have raked in additional hundreds of millions of dollars thanks to sponsorship deals.
Richard published a book with a co-author in 2014 under the title “Black and White: The Way I See It.”
He devotes his attention to photography when he is not tracking the tennis careers of his children.
Warner Bros. Pictures released a biopic about Richard titled “King Richard” in November of 2021. The film was an adaptation of Richard’s life. Will Smith plays the role of the character in the movie.
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Richard Williams is a well-known tennis instructor in the United States, and he has a net worth of $10 million. Tennis greats Venus Williams and Serena Williams both have Richard Williams as their father.
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