Published On: Mon, Dec 19th, 2016

Babe Didrikson Zaharias: ‘Greatest female athlete of all-time’

Let’s have a blast from the past as we look back to one of the multi-talented female athletes in all of history, Babe Didrikson, considered one of the utmost female sports personalities of all-time. She is considered the ultimate golfer, earning 41 LPGA tournaments, winning 11 majors while excelling in basketball and winning two track & field gold medals in the 1932 Olympics.

She was born Mildred Ella Didrikson on 26 June, 1911, in the seaside city of Port Arthur, Texas. Her Parents were immigrants from Norway. While her three oldest siblings were born in Norway, Didrikson and her three youngest siblings were born in Port Arthur.

After a spelling change to the family name, the Didriksons relocated to Doucette in Texas when she was four years old. The nickname “Babe” came after hitting five home runs in a baseball game, but her mother already called her “Bebe.”

1932 Olympics photo/ public domain via wikimedia commons

Her abilities is not limited to the sports, she loved to play musical instruments, especially the harmonica and also recorded vocals on several songs for the Mercury Records label. Her leading hit was “I Felt a Little Teardrop”.

Didrikson even participated in the supreme nationals of professional “sewing.” Babe was an outstanding seamstress, making numerous outfits she wore containing her golfing clothes. While she claimed to have won the 1931 State Fair sewing competition, she actuality won the South Texas State Fair in Beaumont, still embellishing the story many years later in 1953.

Babe was never a great student, attending the Beaumont High School, she repeated the 8th grade, ultimately dropping out without graduating from college after she moving to Dallas to be a part of basketball team.

In 1938, she married George Zaharias, a skilled wrestler, in Missouri, on 23December, 1938. Afterward, Babe Didrikson was generally known as Babe Zaharias. She met with George while playing golf.

Babe regained her amateur status in 1942 to she won the 1946 U.S. Women’s Amateur and the 1947 British Ladies Amateur – the first American to do so – and three Women’s Western Opens.

Having formally turned professional in 1947, she dominated the Women’s Professional Golf Association and later the Ladies Professional Golf Association, of which she was a founding member.

Serious illness ended her career in the mid-1950s, dying at the young age of 46 after a battle with cancer.

The legacy of Babe Didrikson Zaharias may be overshadowed in history, but her name will always be remembered alongside the greatest female athletes of all-time.

A greater legacy is her joyful and shining lif — Babe, you will always remembered by sports lovers.

Author: Colin Brice


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