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Arthur Ashe personal manuscripts, other objects going to auction; 16 items could fetch $120K

NEW YORK — Artifacts reflecting the public and private life of Arthur Ashe are going on the auction block. They include speech notes on AIDS awareness and the jacket he wore at an anti-apartheid protest — among the causes the tennis great and humanitarian championed during his lifetime.

The 16 manuscripts and personal objects are being offered as one lot on Dec. 8 at Christie's books and manuscript sale in New York. It's expected to sell for $80,000 to $120,000.

Ashe was the first African-American to win Wimbledon and the U.S. and Australian Opens. The Richmond, Virginia, native died in 1993 from AIDS-related pneumonia attributed to a blood transfusion following a heart operation.

Christie's says the items are being sold by a private collector. They include Ashe's notes for a Nov. 19, 1992, speech before the National Leadership Coalition on AIDS. It says in part: "We must be creative, even dogmatic, in the face of serious but unexaggerated medical evidence of a potential disaster . Let me tell you what my objectives are — to save lives."

Other highlights include a five-page speech outline on African-American athletes and his views on school athletic programs.

His 1984 Davis Cup uniform also is included.

Ashe founded the Arthur Ashe Foundation for the Defeat of AIDS and authored "A Hard Road to Glory," a three-volume history of African-American athletes.

The Associated Press

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