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The Greatest Athlete of all time is a woman...and it ain't even close


All Legend
10 Year Member
Babe Didrikson Zaharias was an all-American basketball player, a two-time Olympic track and field gold medalist, and a golf champion who won 82 tournaments, including an astonishing 17 in a row. She was one of the 13 founding members of the L.P.G.A., and became the first woman to play against men in a PGA Tour event. Babe was the first American to win the British Women’s Amateur Championship. Didrikson also excelled in baseball, tennis and billiards, swimming, diving, and bowling.
In 1930, in the national AAU in Dallas, she won the javelin and baseball throw.
In 1930-1932 Babe earned the AAU All-American Award.
In 1931, in the national AAU in Jersey City, Babe was the leading scorer with three wins – long jump, baseball throw (world record at 296’) and 80m hurdles (national AAU record of 12 seconds).
In 1932, Babe won the Olympic trials at the AAU Team Championships held in Evanston, Illinois BY HERSELF. Didrikson outscored the 22-member second place team, Women's Athletic Club, by eight points.
In 1932, Babe competed at the 1932 Summer Olympic trials winning a gold medal in the 80 meter hurdles and the javelin throw. Unfortunately, Babe had to settle with a silver medal in the high jump due to being disqualified in her previous jump.

Babe Didrikson (second on the left) finishing in first at the 1932 Summer Olympics.
In 1932, Famous Athletes of Today series listed Babe as "the world's greatest girl athlete."
In 1932, 1945, 1946, 1947, and 1950, Associated Press named Babe Women Athlete of the Year.
The United States Sports Academy Courage award is given to "an individual who demonstrates courageous action in overcoming adversity to excel in sport." Nothing could better describe the life of Babe Didrikson Zaharias.


Babe Didrikson posing with her trophies.

Major Wins as a Professional Golfer​

Western Open: 1940, 1944, 1945, 1950

Titleholders Championship: 1947, 1950, 1952

U.S. Women's Open: 1948, 1950, 1954

Significant Golf Victories​

1947: Tampa Open, British Women's Amateur

1948: All-American Open, World Championship

1949: World Championship, Eastern Open

1950: Pebble Beach Weathervane, Cleveland Weathervane, All-American Open, World Championship, 144-hole Weathervane

1951: Ponte Vedra Beach Women's Open, Tampa Women's Open, Lakewood Weathervane, Richmond Women's Open, Valley Open, Meridian Hills Weathervane, All-American Open, World Championship, Texas Women's Open

1952: Miami Weathervane, Bakersfield Open (tied with Marlene Hagge, Betty Jameson, and Betsy Rawls), Fresno Open, Women's Texas Open

1953: Sarasota Open, Babe Zaharias Open

1954: Serbin Open, Sarasota Open, Damon Runyan Cancer Fund

1955: Tampa Open, Peach Blossom Classic

17 Consecutive Golf Tournaments​

Trans-Mississippi-Denver, beat Polly Riley in finals, 6 & 5.

Broadmoor Invitational-Colorado Springs, beat Dot Kielty 6 & 4.

All-American Championship at Tam O’Shanter, 310 (medal play).
U.S. Women’s Amateur-Tulsa, beat Clara Callender Sherman 11 & 9 for the biggest margin in the history of the tournament.

Texas Women’s Open, beat Betty Hicks 5 & 3.

Tampa Women’s Open, won by five strokes.

Helen Lee Doherty Women’s Amateur-Miami, beat Margaret Gunther 12 & 10. Qualified eight below women’s par with 68 and four under men’s par. Babe was only one stroke off the men’s record for the course.

Florida Mixed Two-Ball, Partnership with Gerald Walker, won on 31st hole.

Palm Beach Women’s Amateur, beat Jean Hopkins, 1 up.

Women’s International Four-Ball-Hollywood, FL, with Peggy Kirk, beat Louis Suggs and Jean Hopkins in 18 hole playoff, 4 & 2.

South Atlantic Women’s Championship-Ormond Beach, FL beat Peggy Kirk 5 & 4.

Florida East Coast Women’s Championship-San Augustine, beat Mary Agnes Wall 2 & 1.

Women’s Titleholder-Augusta, overcame 10 stroke lead by Dorothy Kirby to win with 304, by five strokes.

North and South Women’s Amateur- Pinehurst, beat Louise Suggs on 2nd extra hole.

National Celebrities in Washington, DC

British Women’s Amateur-Gullane, Scotland, beat Jacqueline Gordon.

Broadmoor Match Play, beat Dot Kielty 10 & 9.

Babe Didrikson Zaharias was the first American to win the British Amateur in 1947.

Fantastic Athlete. The only * if there is one. Would be that women's sports were an afterthought at that point. Most women did not compete. Black Athletes were for the most part locked out during her era. It is a shame that it was that way but realistically it must be mentioned. In the same way Babe Ruth did not face many of the best athletes of his day.


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