On the 35th anniversary of Title IX, SI.Com has identified some of the most influential people in the history of the landmark law, which requires athletic departments to offer programs in proportion to their gender population.<br><br>A year after Title IX's inception, King beat Bobby Riggs in the famous "battle of the sexes" tennis match in the Astrodome. Throughout her professional career, King has been an outspoken advocate of women's rights in sports, founding the Women's Tennis Association and the Women's Sports Foundation.
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While serving in the U.S. House of Representatives in 1972, Mink, a Hawaii native, authored the Title IX Amendment of the Higher Education Act. After her death in 2002, Title IX's official name was changed to the Patsy T. Mink Equal Opportunity in Education Act in memory of its author.
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Bayh (far left) is often called the "father" of Title IX because of his role in crafting the original legislation and seeing through passage in the Senate. Bayh was also the principal architect of the Equal Rights Amendment, which did not end up passing but aimed to guarantee equality under the Constitution regardless of gender.
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Title IX was enacted by Congress and signed into law by President Nixon, prohibiting discrimination based on sex in any educational program or activity receiving federal financial aid.
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A college, international and professional star basketball player, Cooper co-chaired the Department of Education's Commission on Opportunity in Athletics, which was appointed to study Title IX on its 30th anniversary in 2002.
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Greenberger co-founded the National Women's Law Center in 1972, the same year Title IX was passed. She and the organization have been deeply involved in the women's movement ever since, devoting many resources to help ensure equal opportunity in education becomes a reality for all women.
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Lieberman-Cline was one of the earliest Title IX success stories as a three-time All-America at Old Dominion from 1979-80. She later played professionally and served as the Women's Sports Foundation's president. She's now a women's basketball analyst for ESPN.
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An Olympic gold medalist gymnast, Dawes moved on from her athletic career to serve as the Women's Sports Foundation's president from 2004-2006. Dawes has spoken publicly of how Title IX afforded her the opportunity to succeed.
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The current CEO of the Women's Sports Foundation is a leading writer and speaker on gender equity and women's sports issues. She was named one of "The 10 Most Powerful Women in Sports" by Fox Sports and one of "The 100 Most Influential People in Sports" by The Sporting News.
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The former president of the Women's Sports Foundation is one of the nation's foremost proponents of Title IX. The Olympic medalist has testified in Congress numerous times on the topic of gender equity in athletics, served as an expert witness in Title IX cases, written numerous articles and been a frequent guest on national news programs.
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Meyers was the first woman to sign a four-year athletic scholarship -- with UCLA in 1976 -- and she made history again in 1979 when the Indiana Pacers made her the first woman ever to sign an NBA contract. Meyers currently serves as the Phoenix Mercury's general manager.
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The NCAA president has spoken out against recommended changes to Title IX that would halt the growth of women's athletics. Recently, he opposed the Department of Education's 2005 suggestion of an e-mail survey that would have allowed schools to achieve compliance by treating a lack of response to the survey as a lack of interest in sports.
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The founding president of the Women's National Basketball Association and first female president of USA Basketball, Ackerman has been vocal about the impact Title IX has had on women's sports, saying it "has accelerated the creation of women's sports organizations and has fueled the development of women's sports in every way."
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