Helen Wills Moody
- Residence: California, USA
- DOB: October 6, 1905(1905-10-06)
- Birthplace: California, USA
Helen Wills Moody lived from October 6, 1905 – January 1, 1998. She has been described as 'the first American born woman to achieve international celebrity as an athlete.'
Wills was born Helen Newington Wills in Centerville, California, now part of Fremont, California, and graduated from the University of California, Berkeley. She was already quite famous when she married Frederick Moody in December 1929. She won approximately one-half of her major championships as Helen Wills and one-half as Helen Wills Moody.
Wills won 31 Grand Slam titles (singles, women's doubles, and mixed doubles) during her career, including seven singles titles at the U.S. Championships, eight singles titles at Wimbledon, and four singles titles at the French Championships. Excluding her defaults at the French Championships and Wimbledon in 1926, she reached at least the final of each Grand Slam singles event she played during her career.
During the 17 year period from 1922 through 1938, Wills entered 24 Grand Slam singles events, winning 19, finishing second three times, and defaulting twice as a result of her appendectomy. Her streak of winning U.S. Championships seven times in seven attempts ended when she defaulted to Helen Hull Jacobs during the 1933 final because of a back injury. At the time, Jacobs was leading in the third set. Because she felt the press and fans treated her harshly at the U.S. Championship, Wills decided never to play there again. After taking a year off to recuperate, Wills came back to win the 1935 and 1938 Wimbledon titles before retiring permanently, beating Jacobs both times.