Babe Didrikson Zaharias (1911 – 1956)
Mildred Ella Didrikson was born in Port Arthur, Texas. She was nicknamed Babe after baseball slugger Babe Ruth because of the many home runs she hit playing baseball as a child. Babe Didrikson Zaharias is generally considered the greatest female athlete in sports history. She gained her most enduring fame in golf and track and field, but she also competed in basketball, baseball, pocket billiards, tennis, diving, and swimming. At the 1932 Olympic Games, she set world records in the 80-meter hurdles, the javelin throw, and the high jump.
Didrikson began concentrating on golf in the early 1930s. Her style of play dramatically changed women’s golf. Her powerful swing, low scores, and showmanship attracted many new fans to women’s golf. Didrikson won the US Women’s Amateur tournament in 1946. In 1946 and 1947, she won 17 tournaments in a row, including the 1947 British Women’s Amateur tournament. She was one of the founders of the Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA). She won the US Women’s Open in 1948, 1950, and 1954.