Who was Mildred Ella Didrikson?
Mildred Ella "Babe" Didrikson (June 26, 1911 – September 27, 1956) was an American athlete who excelled in golf, basketball, baseball and track and field. She won two gold medals and one silver in track and field at the 1932 Summer Olympics, before turning to professional golf and winning 10 Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) major championships. She is widely regarded as one of the greatest athletes of all time.
Already famous as Babe Didrikson, she married George Zaharias (1908–1984), a professional wrestler, in St. Louis, Missouri, on December 23, 1938. Thereafter, she was largely known as Babe Didrikson Zaharias or Babe Zaharias. The two met while playing golf.
Didrikson had her greatest year in 1950 when she completed the Grand Slam of the three women's majors of the day: the U.S. Open, the Titleholders Championship, and the Women's Western Open, a feat that made her the leader on the money list that year. After that, Didrikson became a professional golfer.
On September 27, 1956, she died of colon cancer at the age of forty-five. At the time of her death, she was still a top-ranked female golfer. She and her husband had earlier established the Babe Zaharias Fund to support cancer clinics. She is buried at Forest Lawn Cemetery in her hometown of Beaumont, Texas.