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Associated Press Athlete of the Year

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Title: Associated Press Athlete of the Year  
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Subject: Annika Sörenstam, Tom Brady, Lorena Ochoa, Byron Nelson, Chi Cheng (athlete)
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Associated Press Athlete of the Year

The first Athlete of the Year award in the United States was initiated by the Associated Press (AP) in 1931. At a time when women in sports were not given the same recognition as men, the AP offered a male and a female athlete of the year award to either a professional or amateur athlete. The awards are voted on annually by a panel of AP sports editors from across the United States. A large majority of the winners have been Americans. However, non-Americans are also eligible for the honor, and have won on a few occasions.

List of award winners

Year Male Female
1931 Pepper Martin Major League Baseball Helene Madison Swimming
1932 Gene Sarazen PGA golf Babe Didrikson Track and field
1933 Carl Hubbell Major League Baseball Helen Jacobs Tennis
1934 Dizzy Dean Major League Baseball Virginia Van Wie Golf
1935 Joe Louis Boxing Helen Wills Moody Tennis
1936 Jesse Owens Track and field Helen Stephens Track and field
1937 Don Budge Tennis Katherine Rawls Swimming
1938 Don Budge Tennis Patty Berg Golf
1939 Nile Kinnick College football Alice Marble Tennis
1940 Tom Harmon College football Alice Marble Tennis
1941 Joe DiMaggio Major League Baseball Betty Hicks Newell Golf
1942 Frank Sinkwich College football Gloria Callen Swimming
1943 Gunder Hägg Track and field Patty Berg Golf
1944 Byron Nelson PGA golf Ann Curtis Swimming
1945 Byron Nelson PGA golf Babe Didrikson Zaharias Golf
1946 Glenn Davis College football Babe Didrikson Zaharias Golf
1947 Johnny Lujack College football Babe Didrikson Zaharias Golf
1948 Lou Boudreau Major League Baseball Fanny Blankers-Koen Track and field
1949 Leon Hart College football Marlene Bauer Golf
1950 Jim Konstanty Major League Baseball Babe Didrikson Zaharias LPGA golf[1]
1951 Dick Kazmaier College football Maureen Connolly Tennis
1952 Bob Mathias Track and field Maureen Connolly Tennis
1953 Ben Hogan PGA golf Maureen Connolly Tennis
1954 Willie Mays Major League Baseball Babe Didrikson Zaharias LPGA golf
1955 Howard "Hopalong" Cassady College football Patty Berg LPGA golf
1956 Mickey Mantle Major League Baseball Pat McCormick Diving
1957 Ted Williams Major League Baseball Althea Gibson Tennis
1958 Herb Elliott Track and field Althea Gibson Tennis
1959 Ingemar Johansson Boxing Maria Bueno Tennis
1960 Rafer Johnson Track and field Wilma Rudolph Track and field
1961 Roger Maris Major League Baseball Wilma Rudolph Track and field
1962 Maury Wills Major League Baseball Dawn Fraser Swimming
1963 Sandy Koufax Major League Baseball Mickey Wright LPGA golf
1964 Don Schollander Swimming Mickey Wright LPGA golf
1965 Sandy Koufax Major League Baseball Kathy Whitworth LPGA golf
1966 Frank Robinson Major League Baseball Kathy Whitworth LPGA golf
1967 Carl Yastrzemski Major League Baseball Billie Jean King Tennis
1968 Denny McLain Major League Baseball Peggy Fleming Figure skating
1969 Tom Seaver Major League Baseball Debbie Meyer Swimming
1970 George Blanda National Football League Chi Cheng Track and field
1971 Lee Trevino PGA golf Evonne Goolagong Tennis
1972 Mark Spitz Swimming Olga Korbut Gymnastics
1973 O.J. Simpson National Football League Billie Jean King Tennis
1974 Muhammad Ali Boxing Chris Evert Tennis
1975 Fred Lynn Major League Baseball Chris Evert Tennis
1976 Bruce Jenner Track and field Nadia Comăneci Gymnastics
1977 Steve Cauthen Horse racing Chris Evert Tennis
1978 Ron Guidry Major League Baseball Nancy Lopez LPGA golf
1979 Willie Stargell Major League Baseball Tracy Austin Tennis
1980 U.S. Olympic hockey team Ice hockey Chris Evert Tennis
1981 John McEnroe Tennis Tracy Austin Tennis
1982 Wayne Gretzky NHL ice hockey Mary Decker Track and field
1983 Carl Lewis Track and field Martina Navratilova Tennis
1984 Carl Lewis Track and field Mary Lou Retton Gymnastics
1985 Dwight Gooden Major League Baseball Nancy Lopez LPGA golf
1986 Larry Bird NBA basketball Martina Navratilova Tennis
1987 Ben Johnson Track and field Jackie Joyner-Kersee Track and field
1988 Orel Hershiser Major League Baseball Florence Griffith Joyner Track and field
1989 Joe Montana National Football League Steffi Graf Tennis
1990 Joe Montana National Football League Beth Daniel LPGA golf
1991 Michael Jordan NBA basketball Monica Seles[2] Tennis
1992 Michael Jordan NBA basketball Monica Seles Tennis
1993 Michael Jordan NBA basketball Sheryl Swoopes College basketball
1994 George Foreman Boxing Bonnie Blair Speed skating
1995 Cal Ripken, Jr. Major League Baseball Rebecca Lobo College basketball
1996 Michael Johnson Track and field Amy Van Dyken Swimming
1997 Tiger Woods PGA golf Martina Hingis Tennis
1998 Mark McGwire Major League Baseball Se Ri Pak LPGA golf
1999 Tiger Woods PGA golf U.S. women's soccer team Soccer
2000 Tiger Woods PGA golf Marion Jones Track and field
2001 Barry Bonds Major League Baseball Jennifer Capriati Tennis
2002 Lance Armstrong Cycling Serena Williams Tennis
2003 Lance Armstrong Cycling Annika Sörenstam LPGA golf
2004 Lance Armstrong Cycling Annika Sörenstam LPGA golf
2005 Lance Armstrong Cycling Annika Sörenstam LPGA golf
2006 Tiger Woods PGA golf Lorena Ochoa LPGA golf
2007 Tom Brady National Football League Lorena Ochoa LPGA golf
2008 Michael Phelps Swimming Candace Parker WNBA
2009 Jimmie Johnson[3] NASCAR Serena Williams Tennis
2010 Drew Brees National Football League Lindsey Vonn Skiing
2011 Aaron Rodgers National Football League Abby Wambach Soccer
2012 Michael Phelps Swimming Gabby Douglas Gymnastics
2013 LeBron James NBA basketball Serena Williams Tennis
2014 Madison Bumgarner[4] Major League Baseball Mo'ne Davis[5] Little League baseball


  1. ^ This was the year of the founding of the LPGA.
  2. ^ Became a U.S. citizen in 1994.
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^


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