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Who are Serena Williams’ parents? All about Richard Williams and Oracene Price

Learn how Richard and Oracene first met and what they did to make their daughters tennis legends.
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Venus and Serena Williams would not be the household names they are without their parents, Richard Williams and Oracene "Brandy" Price.

Richard Williams and Price famously introduced their daughters to the game of tennis and were their first coaches. The patriarch soon took over the coaching full-time and famously shielded them from naysayers while encouraging them to disrupt the traditionally white sport by being undeniably dominating it.

His refuse-to-lose attitude and his girls' early years in the sport is showcased in the 2021 film "King Richard," currently streaming on Hulu, HBO and Netflix. Price's role in initially helping to train her girls and supporting them along the way is also spotlighted. Will Smith plays Richard in the film and Aunjanue Ellis-Taylor portrays Brandy.

Throughout the years, the sisters have highlighted how impactful their parents have been to them in their career.

“It all started with my parents, and they deserve everything, so I’m really grateful for them,” Serena Williams said in 2022 after her final career match.

Venus echoed similar sentiments in 2013, writing in part on Instagram, “Thanks dad for giving Serena and I a dream! You truly changed the game!”

She also acknowledged her mom’s influence, telling Will Smith on Red Table Talk in 2021 that her “mom was really the guiding force.”

As the genesis of the tennis legends' stories, the parents have an origin story of their own, too.

Keep reading for their backstory, from how they met to when they divorced.

How did Serena Williams' parents meet?

Richard Williams and Price met at a bus stop in Los Angeles, he previously told Sports Illustrated, adding that he told Price then that he wanted to marry her and have five daughters together.

L.A. was a long way from home for both of them. Richard Williams is originally from Shreveport, Louisiana, and Price is from Saginaw Michigan, where Serena Williams was born.

When did Serena Williams' parents get married and start having kids?

They married in 1980, officially blending their families.

Richard Williams was already father to Sabrina Williams, Richard Williams III, Ronner Williams, Reluss Williams and Reneeka Williams from his first marriage with Betty Johnson. That marriage ended in 1973.

Price already had daughters Yetunde Price, Lyndrea Price and Isha Price with her previous partner Yusef A.K. Rasheed, according to the Los Angeles Times. Price and Rasheed split in 1979.

Their first child together was Venus Williams, born June 17, 1980. They had Serena Williams the following year on Sept. 26.

The family later moved to Compton, California, where the parents coached and raised their daughters before moving to West Palm Beach, Florida, to further advance their careers.

Lyndrea Price, Oracene Price, Isha Price, Serena Williams, Venus Williams and Yetunde Pricepose
Oracene "Brandy" Price, center, with all five of her daughters (clockwise from top): Lyndrea Price, Isha Price, Serena Williams, Venus Williams and Yetunde Price in an undated phoot.Harry Langdon / Getty Images

What did Richard Williams do for a living before coaching his daughters Venus and Serena Williams?

As a former share cropper, Richard Williams later taught himself how to play tennis by reading books and watching videos, Women’s History reported. He then taught Price how to play and based upon how easily she took to the game, Price said it made him believe that their daughters would be tennis superstars.

“I never doubted,” she on Red Table Talk in 2021.

“We had a goal. It wasn’t money. It was just a way of life we wanted for the girls,” she added.

On the same episode, Serena Williams said that her dad ended up quitting his day job to coach the budding prodigies full time.

“My dad at one point was working and then, he stopped,” she says. “He’s like, ‘This is what we’re going to do. I’m not going to have a job. And I’m gonna go with Venus and Serena and train them every day.’"

Price then became the sole breadwinner for the household.

“She had to support seven people," Serena Williams said. “To have that faith and to have that back end support, and to always know all the work she's done and the humility that she continues to have, we wouldn’t have survived without that."

Are Serena Williams' parents still together?

Richard Williams and Price divorced in 2002 after 22 years of marriage.

A decade later, he welcomed son Dylan Starr Richard Williams with his third wife, Lakeisha Graham, whom he split from in 2017. He is also the father of movie producer Chavoita LeSane from a previous relationship. LeSane produced a 2022 documentary about his father, “On the Line: The Richard Williams Story.”

Are Serena Williams' parents still alive?

Yes, Richard Williams is 82 and Price is 72. They were often spotted attending their daughters' press tours and matches, although separately. They now mostly live their lives in private.