#FBF: Oak Cliff Olympians

Babe Didrikson Zaharias, right, competes in the 1932 olympics. She won three medals, two gold.
Babe Didrikson Zaharias, right, competes in the 1932 Olympic Games. She won three medals, two gold.

One of the greatest athletes in Texas history lived for awhile on Haines Avenue.

Babe Didrikson Zaharias won two gold medals, in 80 meter hurdles and javelin, at the 1932 Olympic Games in Los Angeles.

But there wasn’t a sport Babe couldn’t do. She later became a professional golfer, but she also excelled at diving, high jump, bowling and basketball. The latter is what brought her to Dallas.

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In the 1920s, the Col. M. J. McCombs, invited Babe to come work as a secretary at his insurance company, Employers’ Casualty Co. It paid $75 a month and was a largely ceremonial position. Babe wasn’t hired for her typing skills but as a ringer for the company’s basketball team.

She lived in a rooming house on Haines Avenue, and she trained at Lake Cliff Park, often drawing crowds of neighbors who wanted a glimpse of the already famous teenager.

Find more about Babe and a couple of other Olympians with Oak Cliff ties here.

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