72. High Performers from History: Babe Didrikson Zaharias

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Reminder, our season break is coming up, and we will be taking July and August off and will be back with you in September.  Curvies, it is so important to recharge.  A lot of you go, go, go all the time.  And for some of you, it is hard to imagine slowing down.  We hope you take time this summer to do some things you love, make some memories, and recharge.  And for those of you working full time, consider taking something off the to-do list or postponing something that can wait.  As Rachel, Liz and I talked about our goals, we all sensed a need to slow down for a time, not forever, just a time.  If you are feeling that way, give yourself permission just like we did.  

Today is our Belle Curve Book Club Episode, and we are covering Wonder Girl – The Magnificent Sporting Life of Babe Didrikson Zaharias. This is one of Mary Scott’s all-time favorite books and a great, inspiring summer read! You will be a little bit better for knowing Babe’s story.   

Texas girl Babe Didrikson never tried a sport too tough and never met a hurdle too high. Despite attempts to keep women from competing, Babe achieved All-American status in basketball and won gold medals in track and field at the 1932 Olympics.

Babe really was the first female golf celebrity and broke some serious ground.  She competed against men six decades before Annika Sorenstam did it.  She really was the Tiger Woods of the 1940s and 50s.  She won tournament after tournament both in the US and the British Ladies Amateur – 17 straight wins, a feat that has never been repeated.  She absolutely dominated after she turned pro in 1947 and was a founder of the Ladies PGA and served as its president from 1952 to 1955.  By the mid-1950s, Babe basically won every single golf title there was to win at the time. Interestingly, in 1948 Babe qualified for the US Open, but the committee denied her entry saying the event was intended to be open to men only. 

At the height of her fame and success, Babe was diagnosed with cancer. But before she finally lost her fight in 1956, she changed the world in one last important way.  Babe went public with her diagnosis in an era when cancer was not even openly discussed.  She encouraged people to seek diagnosis and treatment earlier believing that her own illness might have taken a different course had she sought diagnosis and treatment earlier.  

Babe’s life and legacy are tremendous, and author Don Van Natta does a wonderful job portraying Babe, faults and all.  You will love this book and will be the better for reading it and learning about the life of Babe Didrikson Zaharias.

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