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"Babe" Didrikson

view "Babe" Didrikson digital asset number 1
Artist:
Harry Warnecke, 1900 - 1984
Robert F. Cranston, 26 Jul 1897 - 1978
Gus Schoenbaechler, active 1940s–1950s
Sitter:
Mildred Didrikson Zaharias, 26 Jun 1911 - 28 Sep 1956
Medium:
Color carbro print
Dimensions:
Image: 41.4 x 31.4 cm (16 5/16 x 12 3/8")
Sheet: 46 x 35.9 cm (18 1/8 x 14 1/8")
Mat: 71.1 x 55.9 cm (28 x 22")
Type:
Photograph
Date:
1947
Exhibition Label:
Born Port Arthur, Texas
All-around athlete "Babe" Didrikson Zaharias freely admitted that she always "had the urge to do things better than anyone else." That intense competitive drive, combined with superb natural talent, made her one of the top athletes in American sports history. Named Mildred Didrikson at birth, she was later dubbed "Babe" by those who likened her baseball prowess to that of Babe Ruth. A basketball star in high school, Didrikson went on to excel at track and field, capturing first place in five events at the AAU Championships in 1932. At the Olympics that year, she took home two gold medals, with record-setting performances in the javelin throw and eighty-meter hurdles. Yet it was in golf that Didrikson left her most impressive mark. By the time she helped establish the Ladies Professional Golf Association in 1948, she had won forty-one amateur titles. She later claimed thirty-one more with the LPGA.
Born Port Arthur, Texas
Perhaps no athlete has excelled at more sports than did Babe Didrikson. She caught the public’s attention when she won two gold medals during the 1932 Summer Olympic Games—in the javelin throw and eighty-meter hurdles. She then became a professional athlete, competing in basketball, baseball, swimming, lacrosse, soccer, handball, fencing, cycling, and ice skating. During this period, she famously declared, “The Babe is here. Who’s coming in second?”
Didrikson started playing golf in 1933, and in 1947 she became the only American woman to win the British amateur crown. In 1948, she helped to organize the Ladies Professional Golf Association. In professional women’s golf, she won eighty-two tournaments, including fourteen in a row. Named Woman Athlete of the Year six times by the Associated Press, Didrikson was a pioneer in women’s sports. She remains one of the United States’ greatest all-around athletes.
Topic:
Exterior
Equipment\Sports Equipment\Golf Club
Mildred Didrikson Zaharias: Female
Mildred Didrikson Zaharias: Sports and Recreation\Athlete
Mildred Didrikson Zaharias: Sports and Recreation\Athlete\Golf
Mildred Didrikson Zaharias: Olympic Medal
Portrait
Credit Line:
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution
Object number:
NPG.97.211
See more items in:
National Portrait Gallery Collection
Data Source:
National Portrait Gallery

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