Ann Moore Gregory was a pioneering African-American female golfer. Gregory took home over 400 trophies and won over 300 golf tournaments from all over the world in the span of her career.
Gregory was born in Aberdeen, Mississippi, on July 25, 1912. She was the middle child of five to Henry and Myra Moore. When she was just four years old, her parents died in a car accident and their former employer, a white family named Sanders, took her in.
Gregory graduated high school in 1930. After which, she moved in with her sister and brother-in-law in Gary, Indiana. She began working as a caterer and played tennis in her spare time.
By 1944, Gregory began taking golf lessons from professional golfer Calvin Ingram. The following year, she entered her first professional tournament, the 8th Annual Chicago Women’s Golf Club Tournament, and finished second place. A member of the UGA, an organization for African American Golfers formed in 1925, Gregory was often invited to play in prestigious tournaments, causing a media uproar as she was usually the only African-American woman competing.
In 1948, Gregory won her first of five Chicago Women’s Golf Club tournaments, as well as a tournament in Kankakee, Illinois, where both she and her husband competed and won. In 1950, she won six of the seven tournaments; that year, she was dubbed “The Queen of Negro Golf.”
In 1956, the Chicago Women’s Golf Club became the first African American organization to join the United States Golf Association. Gregory soon became the first African-American to play in the SGA women’s national championship
Although Gregory was an accomplished golfer, she still had to fight the racism of her era. She went on to break down the color barrier in Indiana at South Gleason Golf Course by demanding to play the full 18 holes when African Americans were allowed to play only nine. Once, she was mistaken for a maid by a fellow player during a tournament, which led to a very embarrassing moment for the player when she faced Gregory on the green.
During the lifespan of Gregory’s career, she took home 400 trophies and won over 300 golf tournaments from all over the world in a career that spanned over five decades. Her golfing career ended in 1989 with a Gold Medal at the Senior Olympic Games; she died the next year on February 5, 1990.
Gregory was inducted into the United Golf Association Hall of Fame, the African American Golfers Hall of Fame, the National African American Golfers Hall of Fame, and the National Black Golf Hall of Fame.
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