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Elizabeth A.Sackler Center for Feminist Art

Babe Didrikson

b. 1911, Port Arthur, Texas; d. 1956, Galveston, Texas

Although Mildred “Babe” Didrikson won kudos as a champion golfer, there were few sports she did not master: tennis, swimming, track and field, softball, baseball, basketball, deep sea diving, roller skating, and bowling. She earned her nickname—after Babe Ruth—as a teenager, when she hit five home runs in a baseball game. Asked if there was anything she didn’t play, she replied, “Yeah, dolls.” Didrikson won two gold medals and a silver medal for track and field in the 1932 Los Angeles Olympics, and every major women’s golf tournament at least once between 1936 and 1954. In 1950, the Associated Press voted her the Greatest Female Athlete of the first half of the twentieth century and named her Female Athlete of the Year six times. She was inducted into the Hall of Fame of Women’s Golf in 1951, was one of six initial inductees into the Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) Hall of Fame in 1967, and is also in the World Golf Hall of Fame.