Ebby Halliday, the founder of Ebby Halliday Realtors who passed away last year at 104, has been named the 5th Greatest Dallasite of All Time by D Magazine. In a city that is passionate about sports, Ebby was the top-rated non-athlete in the recently released list of 100 notable Dallasites.
D began the task of determining the greatest Dallasites of All Time by compiling a list of hundreds of nominees and sought the assistance of experts, including the Dallas Historical Society, to cull and curate. Ultimately, the magazine nominated over 300 of the city’s most intriguing and influential people. Each of the nominees has had a significant impact on the Dallas area or has lived in the Dallas area and made a notable impact on the greater world.
In Ebby’s case, her impact on her beloved Dallas and the world beyond cannot be overstated. Born Vera Lucille Koch in the small town of Leslie, Ark., in 1911, the woman who would later take the professional name “Ebby Halliday” was admired worldwide for her ability to combine leadership with femininity and business acumen. Her impact on the residential real estate industry was unmatched. Over the years, Ebby opened the doors to successful careers for thousands of people; in particular for women at a time when opportunities were limited.
Throughout her life, Ebby’s dedication to her profession and her fellow man remained constant. This dedication is clearly evidenced in the many honors she received as a result of her civic and professional endeavors. They include the Distinguished Service Award from the National Association of REALTORS® and the International Real Estate Federation, induction into the Texas Business Hall of Fame and the Dallas Business Hall of Fame, the Regional Entrepreneur of the Year Award from Ernst & Young, the YWCA’s 100 Women 100 Years award, and the Linz Award, which is presented annually to a Dallas County resident whose civic or humanitarian efforts benefit the city of Dallas. In addition, Ebby was the first recipient of Executive Women International’s Executive Excellence Award.
Ebby was a member of The Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans, perhaps the crowning achievement of her legendary life. The Association bears the name of the renowned author Horatio Alger, Jr., whose tales of overcoming adversity through unyielding perseverance and basic moral principles captivated the public in the late 19th century. Dedicated to the simple but powerful belief that hard work, honesty and determination can conquer all obstacles, the Association honors the achievements of outstanding individuals who have succeeded in spite of adversity and who are committed to supporting young people in pursuit of increased opportunities through higher education.
But for Ebby, a successful life was about so much more than awards and the extraordinary sales figures of the residential real estate firm she founded in 1945. She often said her most successful sale was when she “sold” Maurice Acers on marrying her on April 18, 1965. Ebby and Maurice met in a chance encounter while both were on business trips to Beaumont, Texas. A former FBI agent and successful lawyer, Maurice was truly the love of Ebby’s life and her eyes would twinkle whenever she spoke of him.
All of us at Ebby Halliday Realtors congratulate each of the recipients of the Greatest Dallasites of All Time honor. In a city of greatness – and one that continues its steady march to international prominence – we’re prouder than ever of our firm’s deep Dallas roots and more committed than ever to honor our founder’s extraordinary legacy through exemplary service to our clients, industry and community.
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