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Biography of Babe Didriksen Zaharias

            When talking to any modern day sports enthusiast or person with general knowledge of the history of the sports world, hearing the name, "Babe" would trigger an initial response to the famous homerun-hitter Babe Ruth. It would be of utter shock if that person's first relation to the nickname "Babe" was the name Babe Didriksen Zaharias. Who is that, they might ask. Babe Zaharias was the greatest female athlete of all-time, and furthermore arguably the greatest athlete in general that the world has ever known. So why is Zaharias second to the last name Ruth with the understanding of her legendary? The answer is very simply put that Babe thrived in a time when women who took sports seriously were considered unfeminine, and women possessed little say in society as they were stereotyped to stay at home, make babies, and be excellent house-wives. Babe Zaharias life's ambition was only to become the greatest athlete that ever lived which left no time for cleaning dishes.
             Mildred Ella Didriksen was born on June 26, 1911 in Port Arthur, Texas. She married in 1938 to George Zaharias and changed her name to Babe Didriksen Zaharias. This woman excelled in every competition including: basketball, track, golf, baseball, tennis, swimming, diving, boxing, volleyball etc.; in short, she did it all. Babe held a 5'5" muscular stature, whose physical and mental coordination were of equal flawlessness. Zaharias remarkably carried herself as a self-centered, prima donna, attention seeker wherever she went. I describe her personality as remarkable because being in her shoes during the 1940's was exasperating majority of the time. The press basically dehumanized her into a freakish icon by referring to her as not being male or female, but belonging to a "third sex". Other young women reportedly ostracized her in locker rooms out of speculation as to what she exactly was. With no one in her corner, not even Title IX which wasn't passed until 1972, it exposed the truth strength of Babe Zaharias as she demolished the myth that women could not be sports heroes.

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