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Babe Didrikson Zaharias (1914–1956) was named "Woman Athlete of the Half Century" in 1950 for her skills in basketball, track & field, and golf.
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Zaharias was the greatest woman golfer of all time, the winner of seventeen successive golf tournaments in 1946-1947, and of eighty-two tournaments between 1933 and 1953. The Associated Press voted her "Woman of the Year" in 1936, 1945, 1947, 1950, and 1954. In 1950 the AP acclaimed her the "Woman Athlete of the Half Century." The skinny, shingle-headed teenager, a shy and socially immature girl who could win at sports but usually antagonized her fellow competitors, became a poised, well-dressed,
graceful, and popular champion, the darling of the galleries, whose drives whistled down the fairways and whose comments won the hearts of the spectators. Paul Gallico paid perhaps the finest tribute to her: "Much has been made of Babe Didrikson's natural aptitude for sports, as well as her competitive spirit and indomitable will to win. But not enough has been said about the patience and strength of character expressed in her willingness to practice endlessly, and her recognition that she could reach the top and stay there only by incessant hard work."
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